Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: "Bumped" by Megan McCafferty

Summary from BN.com: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep.

Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I am a HUGE fan of Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series. I loved reading about her life and was sad when the series ended. Something that baffled me though was that even though the series focused on Jessica's life during her teenage years, those books weren't classified as YA. Therefore Bumped is McCafferty's YA debut. And what a debut it was.

The world that Melody and Harmony live in is a world where teen pregnancy is the only viable solution. With the virus making people infertile, what was once a taboo is now the norm. Girls are anxiously awaiting being told they are ready to "bump" and become vessels to carry babies. Sex is no longer something that people look forward to in marriage or a relationship. It has become a business transaction with the sole purpose to procreate young.

If I had to pick a twin that I liked better, I'd have to go with Melody. Harmony is too sheltered, too religious and too much hiding of secrets for me. I got annoyed with her a lot throughout the story and felt as if her intentions were masked by religious fervor. The scenes with her and Jondoe seemed like a jab at organized religion which, while wasn't offensive, seemed rather aggravating to me. Melody on the other hand seemed genuine and her relationship with Zen, while complicated, showed true affections for each other. I had more empathy towards her throughout the book.

I was put off by all the lingo that was introduced during this book. It would be ok if it was gradually introduced to the reader but I felt bombarded by it in the first quarter of the book. I couldn't understand most of it and the rest just really annoyed it. Also equally annoying was Harmony's constant use of "Oh my grace." It was just a phrase that I wanted to erase from my memory.

I don't know if I could survive in the world described in this book. Teenagers being used for sex to make children seems a far off notion and yet quite possible all at the same time. It's a difficult scenario to imagine yet unlike other dystopia novels I didn't feel a sense of hopelessness. The story ends in a way where the reader knows more books will be told to complete the saga. I'm looking forward to reading more of Melody (and I suppose Harmony as well) and the adventures and tribulations they will continue to face.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty is published by Balzer + Bray (2011)

This ARC was provided by the Amazon Vine program

2 comments:

  1. I've heard other people say they didn't like the slang in this book. I'm on the fence about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought Bumped was fabulous. I was excited to read it because I loved the Jessica Darling series too, although I thought it went downhill towards the end. Melody was definitely my favorite twin too--Harmony irritated me.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your thoughts. Comments on posts that are older than 14 days are moderated so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up automatically.