The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer

“If she couldn’t believe herself, how did she know whom to believe?”


Synopsis from the publisher: 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?

Feelings: I thought this story was really captivating! I was SO into what was going on and living every second with Quinn. I had some theories and was really putting my Law & Order: SVU-honed skills to use. I thought the political element was an interesting touch, making Quinn’s story carry more weight in the public eye.

Issues: It took me a while to enjoy the minor character POV chapters. The first few times, it seemed disconnected and like it didn’t necessarily ADD anything to the plot. Some of the later chapters did, though.

I also didn’t care for the way the story jumped around at times. This may be because my copy of the book wasn’t totally finished and still had some errors. But if that’s not the case, there were a few jerky jumps that broke up the flow of the story.

There’s a small part of me that likes how the author left the whole mystery kind of open and uncertain…but it’s a really small part. The majority of me is annoyed by it. I’m all for magical realism, but this book was 99% real world with a little dose of mythology thrown in, making the pregnancy disjointed. No spoilers, but it just seemed unfinished.

The side-story of Quinn’s baby being a holy, Messiah character felt like too much. I think that part could have been left out, or at least eased up, and the story would have still been gritty and mysterious. However, it made me feel confused and uncertain about the baby, itself.

Characters: I like Quinn. I thought she was spunky and had a lot of heart. I appreciated how she stuck to her guns and defended herself against…everyone. I can’t imagine going through something like what she endured, but I think her reactions made sense and were well balanced.

Quinn’s parents kind of surprised me. I really thought they would have somehow done more to figure out how Quinn got pregnant and by whom. They seemed resigned to the fact that they may never know. I did respect how they supported her decisions and didn’t force her into anything. It was difficult, for sure, which is realistic, but they didn’t pressure her. They were flawed parents and made some bad calls, but that’s relatable!

Final thoughts: Interesting story that fell a little flat for me. I did enjoy it! I just was so sucked in and invested that the ending left me disappointed. Great writing style and cool overall tone.

Pick this up if you liked:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Goodreads rating: 3.47/5

My rating: 3/5

*This book will be out April 4 of this year. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


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