Ok, so I have to admit I felt a little strange reading this book in public. I’m all for pink, but the cover does scream, “young adult girl.” In actual fact, though, I’d recommend this novel to any person interested in the challenges of being a young high school American girl, especially if you’re concerned with the moral questions related to purity rings.
Written in the remarkable voice of a high schooler, Terra Elan McVoy explores the depths of a group of close friends who pledge themselves at church not to have sex until marriage. They mark this pledge with purity rings and all is hunky dory until one of the friends admits she and her boyfriend have broken the pledge — and she’s not even particularly remorseful. After all, they’re in love!
So the girls have to decide what do do about the pledge-breaker, what the Bible really says, and how to cope when the true horror happens — her parents find out.
I get the impression that many young adult books tell the stories of girls and their high school antics without having much at all to do with real life these days. McVoy’s characters, though, have after school jobs and homework and cell phone restrictions. These real students deal with the real challenge brought on by a certain type of Christian movement, the black and white, false ease and clarity of purity rings.
So, if you work with high school youth, read this book. If you have high school children, read this book. If you’re in high school yourself, I totally recommend it even more.
And, I have to admit, it feels extra special to be able to give this book a ringing endorsement because I happen to know the author quite well. Terra Elan McVoy is a former babysitter of mine, a fellow First Pres Tallahassee member, and, now, a good friend and the manager of my favorite independent book store, Little Shop of Stories in Decatur. She’s purely good. Read it.
Oh, almost forgot: check out Terra’s website as well.