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A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 13, 2012 – Before 16-year-old Shelby’s mother died of breast cancer, she extracted three promises from her daughter that Shelby, then age 10, could not understand. Shelby’s life since has been consumed by keeping those promises, though doing so involves ever more ingenious forms of deceit to keep her behavior from her grieving, disengaged father. When he agrees to organize the local Princess Ball, at which girls vow to remain “pure,” Shelby decides this vow conflicts with Promise #3 made to her mother: “live without restraint.” Fortunately, Shelby’s friend Ruby comes up with a loophole: if Shelby loses her virginity before taking the Princess vow, it won’t count. This logic is twisted, but Shelby buys in eagerly, and the balance of the book follows the planning and implementation of her virginity loss. The heroines of Pearce’s Sisters Red and Sweetly struggled against an outwardly hostile world, and the same is true of Shelby (sans werewolves). Her simultaneous devotion to and constant technicality-based circumvention of the Promises, though, weakens this study of a teenager’s response to parental loss. Ages 15–up.
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  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 10-17
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Apr 24, 2012
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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