Pinterest tracking pixel
Oops! The page didn’t load right. Please refresh and try again.
All booksYoung adultNot So Pure and Simple
Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles
Young adult

Not So Pure and Simple

by Lamar Giles

Quick take

Ah, the things teens do to get the girl. Like accidentally taking a purity pledge and dealing with its social stigma.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Teen

    Teens

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL

    LOL

Why I love it

Ebony LaDelle
"Why Not YA?"

One of the things I’m loving about YA right now is that we’re seeing more and more stories being told by Black male writers about Black boys. So much of what is fed to the masses is that Black boys are troublemakers, or that there are only two types of kids: one that is a problem child and another that is squeaky clean. There can never be a Black teenage boy that falls somewhere in the middle. But in Not So Pure and Simple we see just that: a complex portrait of a lovably imperfect boy struggling with his identity in many forms.

The novel follows Del, who has had a childhood crush on Kiera Westing since literally forever. But he’s never had a shot until now—it’s their junior year and she just broke up with her boyfriend. Which means he’s ready to do anything (however unconventional) to get the girl he wants. Even if that means taking a Purity Pledge.

Like the tv show Sex Education, this book is an excellent portrayal of a male protagonist dealing with the complications of sex. Del might be acting with the best intentions, but his friends are giving him the side eye, and even his dad is worried about what this pledge means for his manhood. And though Del is all about Kiera, his actions never once consider her feelings, or what she might want.

Del’s not all troublemaker, nor all squeaky clean. He’s a nice guy who is complicated and flawed, and I loved every minute of his story. Toxic masculinity is not talked about enough, and Lamar Giles shines in speaking to this and other issues in this book.

Read less

Synopsis

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?

Read less

Preview

Check out a preview of Not So Pure and Simple.

Member thoughts

All (127)
All (127)
Love (67)
Like (57)
Dislike (3)
132 ratings
  • 51% Love
  • 43% Like
  • 2% Dislike
    Young adult
    • These Violent Delights
    • Legendborn
    • Anna K Away
    • Firekeeper's Daughter
    • Girl, Serpent, Thorn
    • Instructions for Dancing
    • The Boy in the Red Dress
    • Woven in Moonlight
    • Color Me In
    • Not So Pure and Simple
    • Throw Like a Girl
    • Frankly in Love
    • The Queen of Nothing
    • On the Come Up
    • Wayward Son
    • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
    • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
    • Anna K
    • The Rest of the Story
    • The Red Scrolls of Magic
    • This Time Will Be Different
    • Patron Saints of Nothing
    • The Kingdom of Back
    • Yes No Maybe So
    • Ashlords
    • Looking for Alaska
    • The Gilded Wolves
    • Permanent Record
    • Full Disclosure
    • The Sound of Stars
    • Oasis
    • Where the World Ends
    • I Have No Secrets
    • Song of the Crimson Flower
    • When the Stars Lead to You
    • All the Bright Places
    • The Girl the Sea Gave Back
    • Saving Zoë
    • The Downstairs Girl
    • Hello Girls
    • Mind Games
    • Symptoms of a Heartbreak
    • All of Us with Wings
    • The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World
    • Past Perfect Life
    • There's Something About Sweetie
    • Again, But Better
    • Descendant of the Crane
    • Sky Without Stars
    • How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom
    • You'd Be Mine
    • Night Music
    • Opposite of Always
    • When the Sky Fell on Splendor
    • Shout
    • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
    • The Deceivers
    • Enchantée
    • The Astonishing Color of After
    • Top Ten
    • Turtles All the Way Down
    • Little & Lion
    • A Million Junes
    • The Impossible Fortress
    • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
    • Girls in the Moon
    • You Will Know Me
    • The Sun Is Also a Star
    • Salt to the Sea