Book Title: Immaculate
Book Author: Katelyn Detweiler
Publishing Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Date Read: October 26th, 2016
“Even if everyone thought I was lying, why couldn’t they just leave me alone? I hadn’t asked for any of them to believe me. I hadn’t asked for them to worship me.I hadn’t asked them for anything.”
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 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 thinks 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.
I read this book ages ago, so why haven’t I reviewed it yet? It kind of got lost in my “to-review” pile, and I just kept pushing back a review for it. But I realized that I need to get those reviews finished up, so here goes!
Mina has a great life, and she’s incredibly happy with the way things are going for her. For starters, she has an awesome boyfriend with whom she is in love (a great guy who gets great grades and makes her all kinds of happy), plus she manages to get good grades and studies so that she can get into college. She’s close with her family, especially her father, and everything seems to be going well for her. She even has two best friends to share everything with.
One night, after a weird encounter with an old woman at the pizza place where she works, Mina is troubled, but moves on with her life, just chalking it up to the old woman being lonely and not really sure what she is talking about.
However, a few weeks later, when Mina starts throwing up and feeling off, her friends ask her the question: is she pregnant?
Mina, of course, says no. After all, she hasn’t had sex with her boyfriend, so how could she possibly be pregnant? Although she does find this concerning, because she has plenty of symptoms that point to that being the problem. Desperate to make her friends realize that there is no way she could be pregnant, she takes a test. And then another. And much to her surprise, the tests all come up positive.
Mina is, indeed pregnant. But how?
Explaining things to her friends and family (and especially her boyfriend, who her father forces her to tell), no one believes her. Except her mother and one of her friends. As time goes on, Mina realizes that the odd encounter she had a few months ago at the pizza place might not have been so crazy after all – in fact, maybe the old woman knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Faith, I was learning, wasn’t easy. But then again, wasn’t I carrying around the proof of a miracle, every minute of every day for these nine months?”
Immaculate follows Mina through 9 months of pregnancy, self-discovery, and coming to terms with a new life. Through everything, even the most devastating moments, Mina must find her faith and realize that there must be a reason that she has been chosen for this. It is painful, as friends desert her, the media picks her apart, and those closest to her, such as her father, turn their backs on her and leave her to figure out her life on her own.
As Mina makes new friends and comes to term with her life, and the life she will soon be bringing in to the world, she makes discoveries about herself and those around her that shake up her world even more.
“Maybe hope isn’t always about the perfect ending. Hope is making the journey easier.”
This book had been on my list for quite some time, and I went into it with high hopes, because the plot sounded like something I wouldn’t be able to get enough of. I did manage to have that “Hey, I can’t put this down!” feeling throughout the entire book, too.
But the one thing that got me was how unbelievable some of this book was. I mean, I know we’re dealing with a immaculate conception here, but what bothered me in this book was the way that when Mina’s classmates were pretty much torturing her, she just kept going back to school and dealing with it. I understand that most kids don’t have the ability to get home schooled or something, but you’d think in her special case, her parents would have insisted upon it. I seriously found myself wondering what was up with that several times throughout the book. It just…I don’t know. Kind of bothered me a bit, I guess.
Mina’s boyfriend also seemed like the cookie cutter boyfriend to me. He lacked personality that would have made his character otherwise a little more substantial to the story. I didn’t even much care for him in the beginning of the book, before Mina was even forced to tell him she was pregnant.
And speaking of being forced to tell him she was pregnant, her father really should have handled that situation better. I know he was upset and I understand that, but he forced her into a situation that she herself didn’t even understand yet, and pretty much showed that he had no trust in his daughter. Mina’s mother believed her, but her father didn’t, and it was kind of hard to witness. Especially when Mina has been a good girl pretty much her entire life.
Enough ranting about those issues, though, because this was a really good book and I don’t want to throw out the idea that maybe I didn’t actually enjoy it. The plot and story were different (from all other YA I’ve read), and for the most part, the characters in this one were really interesting. Aside from the few problems that I’ve already picked apart, I think this was a great read. I’ll probably pick it up again in the future to reread, too.
Guest review contributed by Here’s to Happy Endings. Kelly focuses on young adult book reviews, with author interviews, giveaways, and memes such as Waiting on Wednesdays, as well as participating in blog tours. She enjoys working with authors to promote books!