A compelling YA story with a magical realism twist about a girl whose pregnancy shocks everyone . . . most of all her
Quinn Cutler is sixteen, the daughter of a candidate for congress in Brooklyn, and a student at a private school in Park Slope. She’s also pregnant, a situation made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of actually having sex. Scared and confused, Quinn struggles to piece together what might have happened: An unlikely accident while she and her boyfriend were fooling around? A rape that she’s repressing from trauma? Before she’s had any revelations, the situation becomes public, putting her most intimate life up for scrutiny and ridicule, and jeopardizing her father’s political career. Religious fanatics begin gathering at the Cutlers’ house, believing she’s pregnant with the next Messiah. As things spiral out of control through a frenzy of brutal online gossip and rumor, the clues that Quinn uncovers reveal more about her childhood and her family than about the pregnancy itself. She starts to realize that much of her life is built on secrets and lies—strange, possibly supernatural ones that her father is desperate to keep concealed. And uncovering the mysterious secrets is the only way she’ll learn the truth about her pregnancy, and the only way she’ll discover why, despite all evidence and logic, a deep down part of her believes the truth isn’t an ugly one. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?
Quinn Cutler, the 16-year-old daughter of a writer running for U.S. Congress, is shocked to learn that she's pregnant: she's never had sex, at least not as far as she can remember. As word gets out that she's both pregnant and claiming to be a virgin, devout believers pilgrimage to the family's Brooklyn home, hoping to see Quinn and even be healed. In a suspenseful and thought-provoking novel, Baer (Frost) tackles the illusiveness of memory (especially in regard to trauma), media firestorms, fear of the unknown, and the complexities of faith, without ever turning didactic or allowing Quinn's story to fall into melodrama. Amid the growing chaos of her life, Quinn becomes a capable and courageous sleuth in the search for answers; writing in third person, Baer makes readers intimately aware of Quinn's confusion and conflicted feelings about her pregnancy, as well as the reactions of people close to (and not so close to) her that escalate matters dangerously. It's a delicate, complicated, and engrossing exploration of the collision between real life and the inexplicable. Ages 13 up.
Sucked me in when I read the summary standing in the bookstore, and kept my attention until I finished a few days later. Books like this encourage me to keep reading and start writing. Excellent summer read!
Wonderful Magical Realism book
16 year old Quinn is pregnant and has no recollection of ever having had sex. Sure, she’s messed around with her boyfriend, but nothing that could result in a baby! But there she was, pregnant.
This book follows Quinn throughout the nine months of her pregnancy while she tries to figure out when and how she ended up pregnant. She’s convinced it was rape and she has blocked any memory of the event. Until she discovers a secret about her grandmother.
I seriously can’t say much else about what happens without spoiling the story! I can say that I could not put this book down. I devoured it. I needed to know what happened next. At 76% I updated my reading progress on Goodreads with: “I still have no clue where this is going! And I’m loving it!” and my final thoughts were: “Wow! What a beautiful book.”
The only negative I have about this one aren’t really negatives about the story, just personal hatred for Quinn’s father. He just rubbed me the wrong way. I liked the rest of the family, but her dad is kind of a jerk.
So, I guess I’ll just tell you to give this book a chance and go into it with an open mind and be prepared for ambiguity.