Not So Pure and Simple

Not So Pure and Simple An Indie Next List Pick In His First Contemporary Teen Novel, Critically Acclaimed Author And 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 PledgeHis 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 EdWith 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

Lamar L R Giles writes books for teens and adults FAKE ID, his debut Young Adult Thriller, will be published by HarperCollins in 2014 He is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife.

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  • ebook
  • 400 pages
  • Not So Pure and Simple
  • Lamar Giles
  • 24 March 2019
  • 9780062349217

10 thoughts on “Not So Pure and Simple

  1. says:

    art historians have confirmed that this is indeed a true Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece

  2. says:

    It s probably of a 3.5 but I m rounding up.I didn t even know about this book until a few weeks ago but when I saw the author tweet about the kind of themes he was talking about in it, I wanted to give it a try And I ve previously read an anthology edited by Lamar Giles called Fresh Ink which was amazing, so I was expecting this to be equally compelling It s actually been a while since I ve read a YA contemporary because I ve started feeling a bit too old for them, so I m trying not to project my adult perceptions onto the book The book was very easy to read, engaging in a way that made me not want to put it down than a couple of times I thought the conversation style between the teenagers was realistic but I truly don t have any experience to compare it to The author also manages to keep the fun going while interspersing the narrative with some serious discussions and introspection and I thought that was done real well Religion plays a major role in the storyline here and while it s another experience that I can t about its authenticity, I thought the importance of being a part of the church and adhering to its teachings among the characters was depicted very realistically And I liked the message that though some in the leadership and elderly congregants might stick to old school principles, it s the young people with their new ideas and new perspectives that can make the church and religion itself much progressive and inclusive The other major theme throughout the book is male entitlement and how men and young boys dismiss the opinions or just about any assertion by a woman, assume that they themselves are always right, consider themselves entitled to women s time and space and bodies, and then lash out when their so called feelings aren t reciprocated Obviously toxic masculinity can t be eradicated by reading one book but the author definitely tries to talk about how young boys can be taught to recognize such behavior within themselves and try to change The author also tries to talk about the dichotomy of a church preaching abstinence and purity pledges, trying to prevent the school from following a comprehensive sex ed program despite an increasing rate of teen pregnancies and how this adversely affects the young women who do end up getting pregnant and then slut shamed, but no one even cares who the responsible father was The undue burden put on women in every aspect of their lives is shown extremely realistically in a couple of chapters which hit very close to my heart and those few chapters are definitely what make me want to recommend this book to everyone Del is like any teenager who has a crush on a girl and finally thinks it s his time because she has broken up with her boyfriend He is also reluctant to go the church but finding Kiera at the same place gives him an opportunity to impress her and that s how he gets involved in the activities On one hand he makes some lasting friendships in the church group, realizes the importance of the community and how it can be a force of good and change but on the other hand, he never deviates from his almost obsession with Kiera and neglects many other important tasks in his life He is obviously encouraged by his other friends which just shows how much peers influence the behavior and how much parents have to be in communication with their kids I thought the author did a great job making Del sympathetic enough that we find him a relatable teenager but also are able to recognize his faults I just wanted to give him a good shake sometimes and make him see how wrong he was The whole friend group is very diverse with very distinct personalities, their own unique relationship with faith and the church and with each other There are conflicts and difficulties but they also resolve in their own ways and I enjoyed the varied dynamics between each of them Del s sister Cressie plays a very small but one of the most important parts in the story and I loved the transcripts of her YouTube videos While I didn t like that the author uses the concept of men learning to respect women s boundaries when something happens to a woman in their family, I think the change has to somewhere and this is as good a reason as any I also found Del s parent s dynamic very interesting they are so much in sync in many ways but still there s an element of dismissal of a woman s beliefs and fears and I thought that was so realistic To conclude, this is a great teen contemporary that gives a very unique perspective on religion, toxic masculinity, and female agency without beating down its message or portraying anyone as the villain It s charming, relatable, with a great cast of characters and a very important message that I think deserves a read I would definitely recommend it to any teenage readers or parents of young kids, as well as anyone who enjoys reading contemporary stories rooted in reality.

  3. says:

    I woke up bright and early at 4am for work only to remember halfway out the door that I m off So I spent the morning binging a new book HarperTeen harpercollinsus entrusted me with an advanced reader copy of notsopureandsimple by lamargiles for an honest review This was a necessary read about a misguided boy named Del in love with a girl named Kiera It s reminiscent of a 90s sitcom comedy where the male protagonist is so focused on winning the girl that he fails to acknowledge that women are not prizes to be won In fact, no one should be treated like an object Del is a likable character, even in his face palming flaws You cannot help but cheer for him, even as he finds himself in the most ridiculous situations This novel examines themes of toxic masculinity and women rights in a very tactful approach It contains religious tones and pockets of humor on the black church, sexual education, and the bro code This one kelp me nodding un huh right up until the last page The ending was nothing short of bittersweet and spot on I would recommend this delightful contemporary novel to lovers realistic fiction and serious issues 5Expected publication January 21, 2020.

  4. says:

    This was so good sharp and funny and thoughtful and messy I think it would be such an interesting buddy read with HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME to see how the conversation changes across gender and racial lines, both implicitly and explicitly Lamar Giles really is one of the few autobuy authors I will follow to the ends of the bookish earth and it was true before this book but it s officially cemented now.

  5. says:

    Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewThere s a lot about Not So Pure and Simple that should be celebrated For one, this is the rare YA book with a male protagonist that discussing sex education from a male perspective Books like Have a Little Faith in Me, The Nowhere Girls, and Moxie are all wonderful books that deal with female sex education, but this is the first one that made me realizewe don t really teach boys about sex either Sure female sexuality is spoken of like a secret or a whisper, but male sexuality has it s own problems too mainly that guys are just sort of expected to know how to do the sex and if they don t are ostracized.Also, there s a nice look into the different types of toxic masculinity It s not all hardcore jock bros talking about screwing girls, it s guys being unable to connect with girls on the specific levels they need too Del is a likable guy, but he s selfish He never once considers Kiera or her feelings nor what he d do once he achieved his goal There s something so frustrating, but so familiar about Del s struggle It worms it s way under your skin, because in a way we re all like Del Sometimes we only think to the end goal, with no idea where to go afterwards But who cares about after when you have right now There s a interesting disconnect between what Del thinks and who Del is For the reader, it s obvious that Del is a flawed person who can t see that he s not nearly as good as he thinks he is But Del doesn t see him that way and it takes a lot prodding from the character s around him to realize that He s a selfish character, but that doesn t make him a bad person Just like how he s a staple of a specific kind of toxic masculinity but that doesn t make him a villain.The only real qualm I had with the book was the fact there never seemed to be that moment where he sees Kiera for the person, never realizes that he never thought about what Kiera would want Del spent so much time trying to ask Kiera out, he never considered the possibility she d say no And yes Del learns that he has no right to Kiera or her choices, but e never stops and askswhat does she want It doesn t take away from the story, but it s still something that I felt should be commented on However, I m just happy that there s a sex ed book about male sexualitycause trust me, us guys need it.

  6. says:

    This is a very timely, accessible book that I hope lots of boys read It captures the insecurity and bravado and general confusion that all teens experience about dating and sex from misinformation shared by school programs and church organizations to bad advice from parents, peers and Google The setting delivers timely conflict and Lamar Giles balances the expression of religious influence and social media evenly I found Del pretty unlikable but very real His character development was complex and compelling in a way that makes this one of those Important Books for teens to find a harbor in.Del has had a crush on Kiera forever So when his mom s church starts a program that his crush signs up for, Del joins in without a thought Until he realizes he signed up for a Purity Pledge Kiera thinks he s just angling for her, and she s not wrong but Del knows he s gotta prove he s in it for the Pledge to convince her Her best friend Jameer volunteers to help Del out, but he s got a few conditions of his own The closer Del gets to hanging out with Kiera, his efforts all seem to blow up in his face Not to mention his sister s new YouTube channel causing waves at school and creating unwanted attention Del think he s a nice guy who just can t catch a win But some things at school and with his friends, especially one of his BabyGetter classmates, prove that he needs to check himself.

  7. says:

    I m going to be honest I wasn t sure about this book for most of it I didn t hate Del, but I didn t like him, either But then this book takes a really sharp turn and I love it I love Del s sister and I love the person Del s starting to become.This is going to be a polarizing book for a lot of reasons which is good, because people talking about this book means people are reading it but I hope people read the whole thing before deciding Because this book has a lot to say and it s all important And we re getting into that right now.SPOILERS BELOW Del does a lot of good things for bad reasons His main motivation is to make Kiera fall for him, but he doesn t really seem to care about her as a person Like, who IS she What does she like, what does she want for her own life He has no idea But he ll figure everything out later And then he s called out for it, and he realizeshe s wrong And it is literally my favorite thing, because then he tries to change He s a jerk at first, of course, as we all tend to be when we hear the truth about ourselves if it s not a truth we like But then he thinks about it and accepts it and tries to be better And he tries to help other guys be better Because women do not owe you your time and attention And if you try to be the nice guy in order to get women s time and attention, you are not actually a nice guy.

  8. says:

    Really enjoyable

  9. says:

    First and foremost thank you so much to HCCFRENZY for this ARC Happy early BIRTHDAY Of course all opinions are my own I ll admit this book did take some time to get into and I wasn t sure how I would feel about the characters But you know what I was pretty alright with Del Rainey, he actually made me respect him a little by the end of the book Thought I gotta hand a good chunk of my kudos to Cressie, Shianne, Jameer and even Qwan They made this book worthwhile Because you re a man So, man up Don t lose your man card A man s gotta do what a man s gotta do Del Rainey is a squirrel just trying to catch his nut At first I found him to be incredibly annoying, selfish but still a good person Sure he grew on me but so did his relationships throughout the book I ll list my faves but his crush on Kiera Westing drove me nuts, and well it was the plot, and I needed it to resolved quickly because lord give me strength I was about to call it quits were it not for the church peeps, and the rest of the cast I made it through I m rooting for everybody black So I made a quick breakdown of my chocolate faves and why I love them Cressie For being powerful, resourceful and knowing when to seek guidance, opening the pathways of communication and being such a lovely sister to Del I m weak to older sisters who only wants the best for their siblings.Shianne Because even though life handed her an entire hand she s getting through it, is straight up and takes responsibility for her actions respectfully, she too is also a really great person for Del to have around.Jameer Even though he s quietly and nearly creepy at first through Del s eyes, he quickly became a character I started to want to protect, which gave me all the feels when he stayed true to himself and just BLOSSOMED Like damn Jameer you really did that.Qwan Finally my boy Qwan There s too many things to say about him that would spoil things, but much like Jameer he grew on me and I m so happy with his growth throughout the book that it helped enhance the passion I had for his and Del s relationship.I really enjoyed the amount of pop culture references, nods to fellow authors and their books There was just a really nice sprinkling of things that made this book really good as I type this Of course it dealt with topics of sexism, fragile masculinity, being a teen, and surprisingly blended it all well with being in a small town Of course I was greatly surprised by all the religion but it also allowed to to learn a lot of church Thought not having experienced it myself I really and truly enjoyed it The dynamics with the adults and how to handle very real situations would get me in my feelings I didn t enjoy certain aspects but that s to be expected I think when getting the the ending And honestly that s what brought it all together Here s to Cressie s proactiveness, the family s strong support and communication with one another Everything for me, turned out better than I thought and for that I think you Lamar for giving me black boys, giving me NERDY and PROUD black girls Thank you Please check this out if you haven t already xoRE

  10. says:

    When Del s mother starts going to church, she drags him along with her The only thing that gets Del through those dull sermons is watching Kiera Westing, a girl he s had a crush on since kindergarten Even better, for the first time ever, Kiera is single Now it s up to Del to figure out a way to get close to her When he sees Kiera joining a group of other students up at the front of the church, Del joins them, not realizing that he s agreed to be part of the Purity Pledge, not to have sex until marriage But maybe this is the key to get Kiera s attention He knows that his reputation makes him an unlikely participant, since everyone s heard about the orgy that happened Freshman year Del, with the help of a new friend, decides to play the long game and prove his pure intent Along the way, he becomes friends with the other kids doing the Pledge and finds himself taking their sex related questions to the sex ed teacher at school, a class none of the other Pledge kids are allowed to attend Del is sure he has Kiera just where he wants her, but he has yet to realize that Kiera has to be just where she wants to be too.I am so pleased to see a book about toxic masculinity with a male protagonist who wakes up to the flaws in his intricate plans just a bit too late Del is a marvelous hero of the book, filled with personal flaws, intelligent but also conniving He sees himself as a good guy, but others don t see him that way and readers will recognize that he s not being honest with anyone, not even himself Readers will root for Del even as he is manipulating Kiera and others around him That is one of the best twists of the book, as readers nod along with Del, they too will realize the way they are seeing women and girls, and the changes they need to make to not be toxic themselves The clear writing and varied characters make this a great choice It is the nuanced way that Giles writes about the church and being a male African American teenager that adds a rich depth to the book He offers readers opportunities to learn, to grow and to realize things about themselves without ever being preachy about it A frank look at sex, lies and toxic masculinity with a main character to cheer for, despite it all Appropriate for ages 14 18.

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