The Inconceivable Life of Quinn
by Marianna Baer
E-arc, 334 pages
Expected publication on April 4th 2017
Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?
I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for honest review.
Quinn Cutler life seems perfect. She’s finally getting in a relationship with her childhood friend and longtime crush, Jesse, spend the best Summer together, and her father is running for congress. Her life turned upside down however when she found out that she was pregnant, even though she doesn’t have any memories of having sex. Before she can sort it out and find the logical answer, the news of her virgin pregnancy spread; turning the tide on her father’s campaign and causing lots of believers camping outside her house. Is there any logical answer to her pregnancy, or is it truly the work of higher power?
Before we start, let’s talk about that cover shall we? The blue, the sparkles, and the cute typography really attracts my interest in this book. And then I read the synopsis about virgin pregnancy, and it honestly sounds interesting to me. I mean, it’s a unique idea that haven’t been done before, so I’m very excited to read this. While the plot is really interesting, the characters really made the whole thing fell flat to me.
Quinn, our main character, was annoying to read about. She knows what she wanted and stand firm in what she believed in, but she’s impulsive, reckless, selfish, and too naive for her own good. I love that she fight to keep the baby, stand firm in saying that she’s a virgin, and trying so hard to find the truth. But while doing all of those, she couldn’t see how her actions affecting people around her. 70% into the book, she still doesn’t understand why her pregnancy is affecting his father’s chance of being a congressman, how it affects her relationship with Jesse, other friends and her family. How her impulse has done her no good, and yet she keep following it (watching the show, showing herself to the fanatics, even going out to them). She’s also really bad at communication. She always claimed that she has good relationship with her mother and Jesse, and while I know how the issues present in this book affect their relationships, apparently not even once she forced them to talk with her. Same goes for Lydia. All those time locked together in the house and not once she did try to talk with her.
Some people might say that her parents are bad, but I have to disagree. All they tried to do was protecting her, even though I acknowledged that some of them went out of line. But when you have a daughter as impulsive as Quinn, who can’t be reasoned with, won’t you took the actions Gabe and Katherine did? Not to mention, being a congressman was Gabe’s longtime ambition and like other human being, being so close yet so far to your dream hurts a lot. Despite their flaws, they are really supportive of Quinn. She wanted to keep her baby? Fine. She doesn’t know who the father is? Sure, she doesn’t want to talk with us, let her talk to therapist. The world is being mean? Try to do their best to shield her. It’s just they need to work on their communication, sit down and talk rationally without any distraction.
While we’re at it, is there a test to determine virginity? Like to test whether the hymen is still intact or not? Why didn’t they do that???
The side characters are pretty forgettable though. Jesse is such a sweet and perfect boyfriend, he’s almost to good to be true and very stereotypical. Marco and his cousin are just typical jerk. Quinn’s friends, while some of them are supportive (Caroline and Sadie), the others showed very little support of her. Her psychiatrist are shown as the typical useless psychiatrist, at least through Quinn’s point of view.
I really like the plot. The whole mysterious circumstances surrounding her pregnancies and the issues coming because of it are really interesting and realistic to read. The challenges Quinn’s faced and how people demonized her (but not once, the public ever try to find or curse the father. because pregnancy only happened because of the girl’s fault, yeah.) are the issues that very real and happening around us. The writing style is simple, but the author’s word choice are amazing. We can see Quinn’s confusion, hurt, loneliness and anger bleed through the pages, as well as seeing the event’s through other’s eyes. While this book is mainly told through Quinn’s point of view, there are others thrown into the mix, and they are enough to make us see the events from people around her.
I have mixed feelings about this one. On one side, the plot, some characters and writing are amazing. But on the other hand, the main character is unlikeable for me and some characters are too stereotypical. If you like magical realism, along with “is it or is it not” type of book, I think this one should be on your TBR.