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.
What is wrong with the world that we can no longer believe in miracles? Why must we know the answers to everything or understand the purpose for everything? Why can’t we just sit back and gaze in wonder and in awe? How have we forgotten that life is one giant miracle made up of miracles? Are we really that cynical?
Well I have to admit, I’m just as cynical and desensitized as anyone else. I believe life is miraculous, yet at the same time, I somehow believe miracles do not occur. At least not divine miracles, such as a teenager getting pregnant and she hasn’t even had sex yet. But that is exactly what happened to Mina Dietrich.
Mina was your typical over-achiever. She made straight A’s, dated the king of perfection, Nate, and was a responsible and reliable worker at a diner. She also loves spending time with friend and family, as well as said boyfriend. She is all around, perfection in human form. So it should only be fitting that she carry the world’s next savior. At least some being in the universe thought so.
Thus on a Friday night, the official beginning of summer, in walks this old lady, Iris, and she tells Mina she has been chosen. However, Mina can’t handle Iris’ words and makes her escape before she can hear what Iris has chosen her for. But she doesn’t care. She just wants to get away.
Now summer is in full swing, but Mina, not so much. For starters, she’s tired all the time, has headaches, her breasts hurt, nausea and vomiting; not to mention her back is killing her. Sound familiar doesn’t it? Not to Mina it doesn’t. And it isn’t until she confides in her two best friends, Hannah and Izzy, that the word pregnant gets thrown around. Yet it isn’t until she actually takes some pregnancy tests, that its confirmed, Mina is pregnant.
The first question on her friends’ minds is when did she have sex with her boyfriend, Nate? But the question on Mina’s mind is how. She has never had sex with Nate, or with anyone for that matter. And yet here she is, with child. Then she remembers Iris. Thus she tells Hannah and Izzy of the old woman who came into the diner and told Mina she has been chosen.
They listen in shock and both are skeptical, however, Hannah is hopeful that there is some sort of explanation and wants a second opinion before drawing a full conclusion. Izzy, not so much. She does think Mina is telling the truth, and thus terminates their friendship because she cannot handful Mina and this outrageous lie. But this isn’t the worse of it. She still has to tell her family as well as her boyfriend. At least Hannah is still here, unsure, but still here.
As to be expected, Nate dump her and her father isn’t speaking to her. Her mother and sister are on her side. And Hannah hasn’t forsaken her. But there is also Jesse, the new busboy at the diner. Apparently Iris tells him to look after Mina, and Mina couldn’t be more grateful. But she isn’t out of the woods yet.
Someone has revealed her secret and not only does the whole school, but there is also a website called, “The Virgin Mina.” Now word of her situation, her miracle, is spreading throughout the whole town as well as the entire world. And the response is not kind.
Overall, majority are calling Mina a liar and that she should just fess up to having sex out of wedlock. Why some are even saying that Jesse is the father, what with how close the two seem to be. Others are a little more melodramatic, condemning Mina’s soul to hell and asking her to repent before it’s too late. Even worse, they are harassing her and her family, calling at all hours with these hateful messages and demanding that she give the baby up for adoption once it’s born and stop spreading her black magic and deviltry. On the other side of this are followers, people who believe she is this generation’s Madonna and will bless them. However, Mina is not sure she can deal with the hate and the pressure. Why is she the one to carry this miracle and will she be able to deliver this baby safely into this chaotic world?
Immaculate shows us the ugly truth about today’s society. That we are so hard boiled there is no soft center, no room for believing in miracles. This novel shows us that we have lost our ability to see wonder in our world. Yet Immaculate also teaches us that when faced with adversity, we are stronger than we know. And that if we just keep the faith, in ourselves, we can power through anything.
Reviewed by Camia Rhodes