Monday, April 9, 2012

"Loved tried to make you happy, even if it was useless. Love would do anything to make you happy."

Promises. We all make them. How much harder is it to keep a promise? As she is dying, Shelby's mom asks her to keep three promises: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. It seems simple at first, but what happens if the promises contradict one another? Are there possible loopholes that would allow Shelby to circumvent the promises?

When Shelby's dad gets involved in planning the local Princess Ball, she realizes that she may have to break one of the promises or find a loophole that will allow her to make her own decision. With her best friends Ruby and Jonas at her side, she works to find a solution and, just maybe, find a closer relationship with her father in the process.

I love several things about this book. First, in order to live without restraint, Shelby has a life list with over 400 (!) to-do items listed. This is something I really need to do. I've talked about it, but somehow never actually made the list. I'm inspired to do so now. Second, Ruby and Jonas are great characters. They're honest and real, but also supportive. I hope for all kids to have deep friendships with people they can trust. Finally, I love the truth of the sometimes difficult and evolving relationship between Shelby and her father. Parent-child interactions are often frustrating and Pearce portrays the frequent misunderstandings truthfully.

Purity by Jackson Pearce will be published by Little, Brown on April 24, 2012. ARC from publisher.

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