Title: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn
Author: Marianna Baer
Published: April 4th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 384 pages
Source: Paperback proof from publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
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 didn’t know anything about this book going into it but the blurb caught my interest and I was craving a good contemporary read so I jumped straight in. While the book didn’t hook me in straight away, I did thoroughly enjoy it and it had an intriguing twist to it.
Quinn is an ordinary sixteen year old. She has a great boyfriend, a big group of friends at school, and her life is pretty much exactly as she would want it to be. Except she’s just found out she’s pregnant even though she’s 100% sure she’s never had sex. With her dad running for office, the scandal blows up and things get out of control as Quinn tries to figure out exactly what happened during the two week window that her baby was conceived during.
I noticed that some people went into this book thinking it was a simple contemporary and I can understand how, but I caught the scent of something extra early in the book. While there are magical realism elements in the story, I think that they add that something extra – even if they do feel a little stinted at times.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t particularly a fan of any of the characters in this book. Quinn, for me, wasn’t someone I could connect with. Sure, she was vulnerable and confused but she was also very flippant about the way she treated her boyfriend and that kinda irked me. Having said that, her dad was the worst. I couldn’t believe how cruel he often was to her. The fact that she kept protecting him made it even worse at times, but with her confused memories and her family constantly lying to her about how things really went down, this was understandable.
I found this story to be a really interesting look at how media portrayal can cause something to blow up. Quinn’s father’s career is at stake when she decides to go through with her pregnancy, but then there’s also the cult-like following that she, herself, gets. It’s like a study in human nature: how far some people are willing to go to prove what they believe is true and/or right.
Given a twist of magic in an otherwise ordinary world, this book takes you on a journey of discovery alongside Quinn. It is a perfect summer read and I highly recommend to those that like a little something extra in their contemporary reads.
About the Author
*Picture from Goodreads