Author: Katelyn Detweiler
Pages: 464 pages
Published: May 26th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Intense Reads, YA
Published: May 26th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Intense Reads, YA
Source: ARC from Penguin Random House
Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant- despite having never had sex- her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina's claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina's story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible- and that Mina's unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.
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This book's just on fire! It has thus far impressed me with its cover, synopsis, and it's writing. If you're new to my blog you should know that I don't go for contemporaries often, but when I do find one in particular, I usually really enjoy it! Immaculate was one of those very few. By weaving an intriguing story of how just one thing could change everything in your life, Katelyn Detweiler has shown us the light and the dark of Mina's predicament and how sometimes, unwanted miracles are the greatest miracles of all. So definitely stay for the review if you're interested.
With the premise, we have some weird scene that goes on in the first chapter of the book. Mina is serving tables late at night and a woman she doesn't recognize claims to know her. The old woman says some crazy batshit and Mina get's all scared. She literally says, "You're going to be having a baby" but I guess it wasn't so clear to Mina at the start because she accepts whatever it is to get away from the woman.
No spoilers in saying the main character gets unexpectedly pregnant. She doesn't know how she got pregnant or who the father is, but she's 100% she is still a virgin and wasn't raped by any means. She suddenly starts puking, having headaches, cold sweats, and has a sudden urge to eat everything on the table. Our main character, Mina, is in a huge shock after her friends tell her that those are all symptoms of pregnancy and that she should take a pregnancy test. Of course, she takes one and finds that she is really pregnant, despite how many times she tries to tell herself that she isn't. And her life changes from there...
- The author definitely knows what she's talking about when it comes to pregnancy. Everything felt so real!! The book was split up into different trimesters, which I thought was so creative and fun to see how time passes by. I also learned a little bit about the process of the ultrasound.
- I liked how Mina's whole world crumbles the moment her doctor tells her that she is 100% pregnant. Mina's entire life falls apart in one split second and it suddenly feels like it can never be pieced together.
- The writing is so beautiful! It made me cringe at the shocking parts and just bawl my eyes out when something sad happened. It evoked my emotions!
- This type of book is definitely not for everyone! Heed my warning because we get into some serious topics- pregnancy, motherhood, sex, morals, relationships between her lovers and her parents.
Mina, our main protagonist, is a book lover, guys. There are a bunch of HP references and book-related topics. She's an A student with the perfect boyfriend and she's got her whole life cut out for her. I think Mina has made one of the biggest and greatest transitions ever, for a literary character. Mina accepts the baby and decides to keep it even though she knows the consequences and that, yes, some people will not be pleased with her. In the beginning she seems as if the type that worries about what everyone thinks about her and how she needs to be hanging out with the right kind of people. However, in the end, she discovers the truth about how much the baby has changed her. She's fighting for a new life with the right people supporting her.
We have Jesse and Hannah, two unbelievable friends who have stuck by Mina no matter what obstacle she faced. They're both not afraid of being seen with the "pregnant virgin girl" or "Menius", which actually means Mina + Genius. How neat is that!
The characters weren't stale and we get to see their worst sides in this book. Nobody's perfect but hey, at least we got to see that! I think the best part was finding out how all the characters' reaction to Mina being pregnant. It was priceless and it also helped to differentiate those who would stand by her and those who didn't truly love her. Wonderful character development, I really loved it!
You would expect there to be so much romance in a book about pregnancy, but there really was little to none. I think the book was trying to push the meaning of romance away with all the other issues that were brought out, which was kind of engaging to see in a debut contemporary novel.
This book and story, overall, has just gone beyond what is considered YA. Definitely a more serious and intense novel but great for any reader ready to take on a new challenge of a life-changing and alluring read! Immaculate is eccentric in its own way and sets the stage for a new type of genre.
Miss Katelyn Detweiler was so sweet as to agree to do an interview with me about her book. I was so enthralled in her story and I needed the answers to so many of my questions!
1. When the media finds out that Mina is pregnant but she's still a virgin, she reacts by telling the media that she doesn't quite understand what's happening to her. She acts confused when really, the truth is underneath everything- that she is carrying a baby with no father. At this point in the book, did you create Mina to be afraid for the media to know the truth or that she, herself, was afraid to accept the truth? Hm. This is an interesting question. I think she’s very afraid of both things, really. She’s afraid for the media—and through them, the rest of her town, the country, the world even—to think she’s “crazy.” She doesn’t want the world to think she’s lying, even if she deep down knows she’s not. I think a lot of this fear stems from her still struggling with her own thoughts on everything—coming to terms with this very bizarre, this very momentous new reality. Until she’s really comfortable with herself, it’s difficult for her to be anywhere close to comfortable with other people hearing and judging her story.
2. I know this is asked a lot but what was your true inspiration for writing this story?
This book 100% came out of a conversation I had with my mom a good decade or so ago—when I asked her if she’d believe me if I said I was a pregnant virgin, and she said yes. She would believe me. This idea stuck, that sometimes trust and faith and love for another person overrides the doubt and the logic. That sometimes, if we really, really love someone, the impossible can become more possible. The mother-daughter connection in this story—between both Mina and her mom, and the reverse of that, Mina and her unborn baby—is one of my favorite pieces of IMMACULATE.
3. Immaculate. What's the story behind the title?
The title was actually the easiest part for me. I had a Word document saved for the longest time that only had four words: IMMACULATE by Katelyn Detweiler. It felt like a start, at least. (Or so I told myself!) I knew from the beginning that this would be a modern-day twist on the story of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception. It’s the belief that some have that Mary was born sinless, marked from the very beginning for the miracle that was to come. As you know from reading, this isn’t a religious book—more spiritual, I’d say—but it still comes back to the idea of being “immaculate.” Clean, perfect, unblemished, pure. This is in many ways how I view Mina at the start—both in the way she sees herself, and how her friends, family, and classmates see her. It’s her flawless reputation that makes her story all the more interesting.
4. Last question: If Iris came to you and asked if you accepted, what would be your answer?
I love this question. I think I’d be torn between two different urges—to say whatever I had to say in the moment to get away from the creepy stranger who was asking; and to say whatever I had to say to get to the bottom of all the weirdness, because my curiosity usually overrides everything else. And I think in this case, the answer would be the same for both goals: Yes.
Are you gonna read Immaculate? You should!