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Publisher's Summary

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 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 get the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?

©2020 Lamar Giles (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Not So Pure and Simple

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W BOOK

it's was very easy to dive into the book from start to finish. and there was a good lesson at the end

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Powerful story

This story was amazing and so much more than a guy using church to get to a girl.

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A must read!

Raquelle-
I was looking for books for my teenage son that weren’t focused on violence or trauma. This book far exceeded my expectations. The characters were authentic and the dialogue was hilarious. The topics of sexual curiosity and cultural norms were well explored without being preach-y.
I have recommended this book to all of the parents of teens I know. Honestly, it’s pretty awesome for anyone but it specifically creates great conversation starters for talks between parents and teens.

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Loved it!

Not even sure how the author wrote on such poignant subject matter with such humor, relevance and entertainment.

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Wow!

If you have a teen in your life or are a parent of a teen, this book must be on your shelf. Both genders desperately need this book in their life.

This story is about what every person struggles with: Toxic masculinity. The idea of what it means to be a man and what women are supposed to expect from them. Truly the Judy Blume of today’s youth. Not only will you be entertained but deep, much needed conversations about coming of age questions, how men should treat women and how women should expect to be treated, and a beautiful story of how important community is for teens as they navigate all the crazy high school and college brings.

5 stars. I’m probably reading it again before the end of the year. It was that good.

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Absolutely fantastic

Love love love. The best by Lamar Giles yet! His ability to voice so many characters is amazing. I felt for each person especially Del. I do think he was a nice guy. Just a bit confused. Loved the mention of so many of the great YA authors, and towns in Virginia. Special shout out to Hopewell.

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  • Court
  • 09-02-20

Great characters

This was a really strong story with a necessary protagonist. He was well realised and a good vessel to explore issues such as toxic masculinity, entitlement and expectations of the opposite sex.