Not so Pure and Simple
Not so Pure and Simple

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Annotation: High school junior Del Rainey unwittingly joins a Purity Pledge class at church, hoping to get closer to his long-term crush, Kiera.
Catalog Number: #221418
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 389 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-234920-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8525-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-234920-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8525-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019025683
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
High schooler Del Rainey has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten, but Kiera has -never been single. Nev. Er.- When she suddenly experiences a breakup, though, he-s determined to give things a go, inadvertently signing up for their church-s Purity Pledge group alongside her, an eight-week program offering -a thorough review of why Jesus wants me to abstain.- Though he-s a virgin, Del has a reputation for being a player at school, and Kiera won-t entertain his clumsy advances. Meanwhile, Del navigates being the guy who has to ask awkward questions in the sex ed class the other Purity Pledgers aren-t allowed to take amid rumors about the Baby-Getters Club-a supposed pact among some of the girls at school to get pregnant at the same time. With true-to-life characters and a straightforward handling of sex, including often ignored aspects of male sexuality, Giles-s thoughtful, hilarious read offers a timely viewpoint on religion, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality. Ages 13-up. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 8 Up Del Rainey attends church with his mother just to get close to his crush, Kiera Westing. When Kiera and other teens approach the altar during a service, he jumps up to join the youth group so he can spend more time with Kiera. Del realizes he just became a Purity Pledger, committed to staying "sexually pure" until marriage. Jameer, another Purity Pledger, promises to help Del connect with Kiera in exchange for the one thing Pledgers don't haveaccess to accurate information about sexual health. Del is the only one taking Healthy Living at school; the pastor won't allow his young parishioners to enroll. This happens right after a spate of teen pregnancies in town. Local media called it a pregnancy pact, though it was actually the result of multiple snow days and boredom. One of the girls tires of being labeled a "Baby-Getter" and calls out her child's father on social media, demanding accountability for the fathers and less focus on the mothers. Without being didactic, this story explores expectations around gender roles and calls out toxic behaviors that even "good guys" are guilty of. The impact of social media, religion, and adults' handling of these issues is also examined. The narrative successfully integrates all of these elements into a compelling story of young people sorting through conflicting messages and social pressures around sexuality and relationships. The characters and their reactions to various situations are realistically complicated, creating a believable, relatable story. VERDICT A powerful first purchase for any library serving teens. Carla Riemer, Albany High School, CA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Del Rainey and his best friend, Qwan, are known for their sexual conquests and wild times with girls in town. Even so, he's always had his eye set on Kiera Westing e hottest and most unavailable girl at school. So when Del sees an opportunity to spend time with Kiera, he doesn't care that that time will be spent taking purity pledge classes at church. Even though he had no intention of being pure, Del finds himself challenged and stretched to check his own behavior toward girls as he spends more time with the Purity Pledgers. What he thought would be a surefire way into Kiera's heart becomes an experience that reveals just how toxic his own behavior toward women is. Readers will find themselves rooting for Del because he's such a likeable character, but a shocking event will illuminate just how poor his decisions have been to date. This title grapples with the many ways that toxic masculinity drives the actions of people, from the pastor's love of public shaming to Del's inability to accept no as an answer from girls. With a fresh perspective, Giles takes care to flesh out his full cast of characters, creating an intricate, multifaceted web of misogyny and its detrimental impact.
Word Count: 87,756
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 13.0 / quiz: 508904 / grade: Upper Grades
Guided Reading Level: N

Hysterical. I couldn't put it down." (Nic Stone) I laughed, I gasped, I church grunted through every chapter. (Tiffany D. Jackson) Heartfelt and hilarious on every page (Justin A. Reynolds) 4 starred reviews * An Indie Next List Pick Two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a "real man." Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she's finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del's right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he's inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn't believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del's not about to lose his dream girl, and that's where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers' questions...about sex ed. With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can't think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it'll all sort itself out. Right? With true-to-life characters and a straightforward handling of sex, including often ignored aspects of male sexuality, Giles's thoughtful, hilarious read offers a timely viewpoint on religion, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality. ( Publishers Weekly , An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List)

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