Monday, April 6, 2009

Enchanting Review: Pure

Contemporary YA
Simon Pulse
ISBN# 978-1-4169-7872-5
338 pages
Hardcover—Available April 2009

Rating: 3 Enchantments

Tabitha McAbe is just your ordinary teen girl juggling overprotective parents, schoolwork, crushes on cute guys, and her faith. As a friend, she’s as loyal as they come. Her bond with her four closest friends, Morgan, Priah, Naeomi, and Cara, seems unbreakable, especially because of the promise they’ve all made, to remain pure until marriage, symbolized by their purity rings. To Tabitha, it seems nothing could go wrong.

Bu things can go wrong, and they do when one of Tabitha’s friends goes back on her promise. She sets off an unpleasant chain of reactions which splinter the used-to-be tight knit group of friends. One betrayal leads to another and another until the event that started this war is blown way out of proportion, transforming a small disagreement to a battle of faith and morals. And no matter how much Tabitha wishes life could just go back to normal, to homework and freaking out about her next date with Jake, she knows she’s part of this quasi-revolution, for better or worse.

PURE is a memorable and meaningful story about friendship, faith, and the bits in between. However, while I enjoyed the story, I did not enjoy McVoy’s writing. Tabitha’s tale gets difficult to follow because of all the little confusing details which make it seem like McVoy already expects the reader to know the background of Tabitha and her friends. There are a bit too many minor characters to keep track of which is frustrating because I don’t know who Tabitha is referring to half the time. Also, the religious fervor in this novel is a bit too much for my taste; I do not oppose Tabitha and her friends’ religious morals but it sometimes feels they are being force-fed to my brain. The plot is messy; there is often too much going on at once. I just found PURE so difficult to get into because I couldn’t relate to any of the friend’s sheltered, conservative lifestyles, so while I understand the point McVoy is trying to make about the simultaneous importance of faith in friendship and friendship in faith, the technically bumpy road to that point significantly dulls its impact.

PURE is Terra Elan McVoy’s debut novel.

Rachael Stein
Enchanting Reviews
February 2009

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