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Purity Reigns: Laurel Shadrach, #1

Review

Purity Reigns: Laurel Shadrach, #1

Stephanie Perry Moore begins an exciting new series in PURITY REIGNS, the first installment in the Laurel Shadrach series. Readers of Moore's Payton Skky novels may recognize Laurel as Payton's college roommate. However, PURITY REIGNS takes the reader back to the beginning of Laurel's senior year of high school.

The book opens with a romantic date between Laurel and her long-time boyfriend, Branson, who tells her that the year will be perfect. However, as the semester begins, it becomes clear that things will be much less than perfect. Branson tells Laurel that he is not getting what he wants physically out of their relationship, and she knows that if she is not willing to give him what he wants, there are plenty of other girls who will. Laurel's father is a Christian pastor, and her parents have taught her that sex absolutely must be saved for marriage. However, she wants Branson just as much has he wants her.

While all of this is going on, Laurel struggles in many other areas. Her best friend, Brittany, goes behind her back and tries to steal Branson from her. Another friend, Meagan, becomes jealous when Laurel garners the attention of the new boy in school, Foster McDowell. Things are further complicated as Laurel befriends a lonely new student, Robyn. Robyn makes a tragic life choice, and Laurel must help her deal with the aftermath.

Laurel begins to wonder if she made the right decision in her relationship with Branson; seeing him in the arms of her best friend certainly does not make her feel any better. To make matters worse, an untimely accident may ruin Laurel's chances of receiving a long-awaited gymnastic scholarship. However, a series of shocking incidents make her realize just how wise her decisions were, and a bourgeoning relationship with Foster helps Laurel finally begin to center her life on God.

Those who have read Moore's STAYING PURE from the Payton Skky series may find the plot eerily familiar. Indeed, the two do share many similarities. However, PURITY REIGNS introduces the reader to a very different heroine. Although Moore occasionally goes to extremes to prove the dangers of premarital sex, the book nonetheless is an excellent read. It tackles tough issues, including sex, friendship, family and God.

PURITY REIGNS is a highly recommended book that most readers will find thought provoking and hard to put down.

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Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby on October 18, 2011

Purity Reigns: Laurel Shadrach, #1
by Stephanie Perry Moore

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2002
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • ISBN-10: 0802440355
  • ISBN-13: 9780802440358