Friday, August 17, 2012

Pure joy

Shelby made three promises to her mother when she was only 10: to listen to her father and love him, to live without restraint, and to love as much as possible. These have not been easy promises to keep over the years, but Shelby is doing her level best to honor them. Now that she is 16, though, there are some conflicts. If she listens to her father, she will attend the princess ball where the teen girls pledge abstinence from drugs and drinking and sex. How can she live without restraint if she is trapped by these pledges. And so Shelby decides that if she breaks these pledges before the ball, she is still technically following her commitment to her mother's wishes. Pearce is straightforward in her treatment of teen thinking about issues including religion, sexuality, and the like. This fresh and honest exploration of various relationships prevents this novel from being in the mode of an after school special. Instead, it is a thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of growing up, making decisions, and living with the consequences. <451>

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