Didn’t Like It
“A girl makes three promises to her mom while her mother is dying: #1 Always love & listen to her father, #2 love as much as she can, #3 live with restraint. In trying to follow her mother's guidelines, and listen to her father, she creates a lot of loopholes for herself. Like when her father...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Shelby is forced to make 3 promises to her dying mother. Even years later she takes the wording of the promises very seriously, but she also is excellent at finding loopholes in everything.
Shelby's logic and decisions are sure to start a heated discussion amongst readers. Some will find the story light and humorous, some will find it deeply sad, and others will see a mix.”
“ quick read!! not bad!”michele b wrote this review Monday, April 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A cute light well written heart warming contemporary read.”Tia Faciane wrote this review Sunday, March 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“PZ7.P31482 Pu 2012”Maureen P wrote this review Thursday, March 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A girl makes three promises to her mom while her mother is dying: #1 Always love & listen to her father, #2 love as much as she can, #3 live with restraint. In trying to follow her mother's guidelines, and listen to her father, she creates a lot of loopholes for herself. Like when her father wants her to attend a church sponsored dance, where she will be asked to take a purity vow, she decides the only way to obey rules #1 & #3 is to have sex before the dance. Not a bad read, but i didn't like the ending. ”Erin wrote this review Tuesday, February 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“YA book reviewed by NPR”arlene s wrote this review Tuesday, January 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting premise, and I like that YA books are exploring all options for sex ed. Shelby was a likeable character, but I had trouble believing she couldn't reconcile the idea that her mother's promise wasn't to be taken literally. She seemed smart but disconnected from reality in that sense. But I think for a younger audience, Shelby's predicament would be very entertaining and compelling. ”EmilyBat wrote this review Friday, August 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
This is a story about loss and love and what comes in between. As Shelby's mother is dying, she extracts three promises from Shelby: "to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint". So far at age seventeen, she has had no real problems in following her mom's advice. She finds minor loopholes in the rules to stay true to them and so far it has worked. That is until her father becomes head of the Princess Ball committee where daughters promise their purity in all things. Yes, including sex so she must find a major loophole in order to stay within the boundaries of the promises she made to her mother all those years ago while making a new one to her father. She decides that if she looses her virginity before she makes the vow, she will be free and clear of that promise.
Shelby's two best friends, Jonas and Ruby, are in on the plan and help devise a way for her to do the deed by making a list of requirements. She first started making lists when her mother passed away and now has a sort of bucket list of things she wants to complete before she gets old. Some of the things on her list are silly and some very meaningful. They go from skydiving to putting flowers on every grave in her mother's cemetery. Her family and friends all note that Jonas is more to her than a BFF, but Shelby is clueless to the fact. This part of the book was where I wanted to yell at her to open her eyes and see what was in front of her face.
This book should spark some great conversations between children and their parents. Yes, even guys should read this book even though it is mostly directed at girls. It points out some plain fact about kids these days that parents in their busy days probably never take the time to see. They really need to have open discussions about sex. I adored how the author used humor to get her points across. Yes, there is frankness in this book, but nothing graphic. I found it refreshing that the characters actually felt the ramifications about their decisions and that sometimes their choices were wrong but not the end of the world as some adults would like us to believe.
“While I'm giving this story three stars which means, "I liked it," I can honestly say there were some things I liked and some that I really didn't appreciate or like very much. A true rating is probably closer to 2.5 stars because I disliked more than I liked, but I did finish the book so I wasn't bored out of my mind, which is a good thing.
At any rate, what I liked about the book was that in some ways it did reflect the mindset of a teen who just wanted to get that virginity issue out of the way, but thankfully the young girl realized (to an extent) that it was a misguided goal. I also liked that some of the dialog was realistic. Though crass at times and a bit harsher than I'd like to see in a teen book, it was often pretty typical. The theme about Shelby missing her mother was well done and the reality of not knowing her father and wishing she knew him better was also well done. I did find the story pretty readable once I got past the clumsiness of the premise.
Things I didn't like ran the gamut. First of all, the premise was a bit cheesy. I wasn't buying the "three promises" thing even though the author tried very hard to make a case for it. I didn't like the fact that they used the Lord's name in vain a number of times. The story would not have been hurt if those words had been deleted, though the young man Ben resembling Jesus and then saying "Oh, God" was funny in a twisted sort of way.
I really didn't like how the author made the character so hostile to Christianity, though some points were valid regarding her not understanding and her anger toward God. The church scenes and the pastor I had mixed feelings about. It was almost like Shelby wanted a reason to have faith, and her reasoning sounded very teen-like, so that worked for me. I also liked Shelby's opinion that teens should be honest with the people they love. She says teens should not pretend something that isn't true and go through with a ceremony if they didn't really mean it.
One thing that disturbed me was the fact that while her attitude about getting rid of her virginity was something I've seen before when I was a teen, so it was realistically shown, it was more the fact that she ended up treating sex so casually and how she wasn't sad that she'd given it away to a guy she didn't even like was a bit difficult for me to digest. Yes, the scene felt realistic. Her heart wasn't in it and thus "getting laid" wasn't that big of a deal because for her it was a means to an end. Most of the time when girls do agree to have sex for the first time it's because they have feelings for the guy. I guess it bugged me that in her heart she treated her purity like it didn't mean much. I would have liked to see her realizing that she should have waited for someone she loved. Or had some regrets and not told people she was "fine" afterward. If the author intended to show some remorse, I wasn't feeling it.
Trying to think back to how my mindset was at sixteen and comparing it to this book, I would walk away with one conclusion... having sex is not a big deal if you don't have feelings for the person. Call me crazy, but as a teen that would have stuck out for me at the time and probably encouraged me to do it to "get the virginity issue out of the way." Maybe that was just the way my mind worked and others wouldn't see it that way, but it seemed to be the message being promoted. While the author tried to redeem the story at the end with the "love" theme trumping everything else, it fell a bit flat for me. Last, after all of that waiting for her to realize who she really loved, I would have liked to see Shelby and Jonas kiss at least once. That was a bit of a letdown. I didn't feel encouraged at the end of the book because the character's arc wasn't strong enough to make me satisfied at the end. ”