Three-sentence Review: Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles
A three-sentence review of Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles. Published by Quill Tree Books.
Del, daydreaming in church, follows his unrequited crush Kiera and stands up with other youth in the congregation for what he assumes is a volunteering gig. Instead, he’s agreed to be one of the Purity Pledgers at the church, promising to abstain from sex until marriage. This very funny novel balances humor with a thorough exploration of emerging male sexuality, double standards, and men’s attitudes about women.
I’ve got 85 beta reading questions and here is one:
Is the story told from a perspective that works for a YA audience?
For sure! Del is a great main character because he’s analyzing the soup pot in which he’s cooking, but he’s also completely caught up in winning Kiera’s affection. This leaves him clueless in some areas such as his older sister’s new YouTube channel and his performance at work. He’s also aware of the sexual double standard personally, because of a rumor that started at a party, and in the community with the news coverage of the “Baby-Getters.” But he’s not tuned in enough to his actions to understand his part in that double standard. Inherently likable, his cluelessness and contemplation will appeal to readers trying to figure out their own journey.