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Not So Pure and Simple: Book summary and reviews of Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

Not So Pure and Simple

by Lamar Giles

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles X
Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2020
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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 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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With true-to-life characters and a straightforward handling of sex, including often ignored aspects of male sexuality, Giles's thoughtful, hilarious read offers a timely viewpoint on religion, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[A] compelling story of young people sorting through conflicting messages and social pressures around sexuality and relationships. The characters and their reactions to various situations are realistically complicated, creating a believable, relatable story...A powerful first purchase for any library serving teens." - Student Library Journal (starred review)

"The novel takes on teen attitudes toward sex and relationships and gender power dynamics in a way that is appealing and thought provoking...Hilariously necessary." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Lamar Giles continues to prove he's untouchable when crafting unforgettable characters. Readers will laugh hysterically but will lean in to the novel when Giles takes an honest look into masculinity and flips the ol' premise of "boy gets girl." - Lilliam Rivera, author of Dealing in Dreams and The Education of Margot Sanchez

"Not So Pure and Simple manages to put real issues in the spotlight, like toxic masculinity and societal pressures on youth while still being a funny, heartfelt, and wildly charming read! Get ready to hug this book as you'll be cheering for Del along the way!" - Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

"I love this book! With a voice that's original, hilarious, and so, so real, Lamar Giles' Not So Pure and Simple is an exceptional treat from the moment it begins, and delivers a satisfying story all the way to the finish. And I didn't want it to end." - Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of Two Naomis

"Lamar Giles's writing is smart, funny, and lit. And he does it while taking on toxic masculinity. Not since Chris Lynch's Inexcusable have I read a more thought-provoking, pull-no-punches take on what our 'nice' boys learn from us as a society. This book is excellent." - Tracey Baptiste, author of The Jumbies

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Author Information

Lamar Giles

Lamar Giles writes for teens and adults. He is the author of the Edgar Award finalists Fake ID and Endangered as well as the critically acclaimed Overturned, Spin, and The Last Last-Day-of-Summer. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Virginia.

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