Summary:Promise. Betrayal. Confession. Revenge. Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It’s a symbol of who she is and what she believes—a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends. But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab’s best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she’s always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab’s entire world comes crashing down around her, she’s forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure. (from GoodReads)
I think that the author had really good intentions when writing Pure, but some of them got jumbled in the overall story, which has a messy plot at times. I enjoyed the book, but it definitely has its flaws.
Good things about Pure: after the beginning, I was able to get really involved in the story! I wanted to see what would happen between Tabitha and her new boyfriend and how the conflict between her and her friends would be resolved. I was looking forward to seeing Tabitha examine her own vow and seeing her come to terms with her friend Cara's decision was great. Tabitha was definitely one of the more mature characters in the book and I loved how she stood by her friend when everyone else dropped her. Also, Tabitha's boyfriend seemed like a genuinely sweet guy and she was lucky to have him.
Like I said, I enjoyed the overall story but there were definitely things that were problematic in Pure. First, the summary is pretty misleading. Using words like "betrayal" and "revenge" makes it sound like we're in for a thriller and Pure was definitely tamer than I expected. Also I thought there would be moments when Tabitha questioned her own vow to be pure, especially now that she has a boyfriend. That is never brought up, though it should have been! Instead the story focuses on how Cara slept with her boyfriend and how it breaks their group of friends apart.
Tabitha's best friend Morgan was incredibly self-righteous and she is the reason why people can't stand ultra-religious people. She is supposed to be the foil to Tabitha's maturity but she was definitely annoying. In addition, I didn't like how the girls in the novel would use made up words and slang like "gah." I've never heard anyone say that so it's extremely unrealistic.
I mentioned before that the story was jumbled. A lot of sentences were very confusing and it seemed as though a thorough editing job was needed. I skipped a lot of the narration because it was unnecessary. I'm still not sure what the point of the novel was. To stand by your friends? To think for yourself? To be non-judgmental? Those were all preached but the novel is marketed as deciding what "pure" is. I don't think that question was answered.
If you're interested in the concept of purity rings and all that entails then I would recommend Pure but otherwise you might find something else more enjoyable.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.
2009/Simon Pulse/336 pages.