Monday, April 3, 2017

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn ~ Marianna Baer (earc) review

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn
Amulet Books
April 04, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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?

What I really enjoyed about The Inconceivable Life of Quinn was that from the beginning we really did not know how her pregnancy came to be, but that the book really was about Quinn, her life and her family and not only the pregnancy.  In the beginning, the Cutlers seem pretty perfect, they have their home in Brooklyn, her father is running for Congress, Quinn's best friend is now her boyfriend, her sister's a cute, mad scientist . . . It all seems cozy and sweet and normal.

Then, when it is discovered that Quinn is pregnant, things go a bit sideways. Not only is she the pregnant sixteen-year-old daughter of a politician, she's claiming to be a virgin. The more decisions Quinn makes and the more she tries to convince others of the little she is sure of, the more frustrating it is for her.

Not knowing if Quinn's pregnancy was because of a night she didn't want to talk about, something she couldn't talk about, truly didn't remember or something else entirely opened some interesting avenues in the story. We see not only the distrust she has of herself and her mind/memory, but whether other's are willing to believe her and the steps they'll go to to find the truth. And what possible explanations people will come up with.

The deeper we got into the story, the more clear it became that Quinn's family was not quite the shinny-happy-perfect one they tried to portray. Both because of the stress they were under and because of secrets and lies from the past we begin to see more who they are. At times it's frustrating, confusing, heartbreaking or worrisome - or a combination of any/all of them. As a reader you really start to wonder what the truth is. Is it one of the more sorted possibilities being banded about? Is it something more ordinary and explainable? Or is it something you haven't even considered.

I really liked how the present day and the mystery surrounding Quinn's pregnancy (as well as the publicity) facilitated seeing glimpses of the past and, in the end, we really, finally understood who the family was and who Quinn was. It was an interesting and unique journey.

digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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