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Staying Pure: Payton Skky, #1

Review

Staying Pure: Payton Skky, #1

Payton Skky seems to have it all --- she's a straight-A student at Lucy Laney High School, captain of the cheerleading squad, and to top it all off, she's dating Dakari Graham, the most sought-after boy in school. However, as STAYING PURE, the first installment in the Payton Skky series by Stephanie Perry Moore, opens, she finds herself confronted with a serious problem. Dakari wants to move their relationship to the next level, though Payton is conflicted. Having been raised in a Christian home, she had always vowed to save sex for marriage. When she resolutely tells Dakari "no," he goes off to get what he wants with another girl, leaving Payton devastated.

As she reels over the loss of her boyfriend, often wishing she had just given in, Payton goes through a process of self-discovery and religious re-awakening. Her best friends --- Rain, Lynzi and Dymond --- are always there to stand up for her and often teach her firsthand the heavy price of pre-marital sex. Payton eventually forms a strong relationship with Tad Taylor, Dakari's devoutly religious football rival. The relationship is centered not on physical attributes but on God, giving Payton a whole new series of complicated questions to ask.

I found STAYING PURE to be highly readable, despite a few flaws. The characters can be annoying at times. Payton is all too quick to point out her popularity, her good looks and her family's wealth. Other characters, such as Tad, seem slightly over the top. Although Moore is trying to present her readers with the model for a godly boy, he tends to come off as being contrived and often errs a bit too much on the "preachy" side. (As romantic as a Valentine's Day spent reading the Bible can be, I think most young girls will not consider him to be as perfect as Moore intends.) Readers may also find the plot to be unbelievable at times. It seems like the book is filled with bad scenarios that always have happy, manufactured endings (most notably, a positive pregnancy test that actually turns out to be a positive ovulation test).

Despite these drawbacks, STAYING PURE is a very enjoyable novel that tackles serious issues. Skky is a generally likable protagonist who always stands her ground, despite her crazy friends and sleazy ex-boyfriend. The plot moves at a rapid pace and is always interesting. Readers will be quickly engrossed in the story and find it difficult to put down.

Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby on July 1, 2000

Staying Pure: Payton Skky, #1
by Stephanie Perry Moore

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2000
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Lift Every Voice
  • ISBN-10: 0802442366
  • ISBN-13: 9780802442369