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.
From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable. (YA, Dystopian)
Review:I had a hard time writing a review for Bumped. It’s one of those books you finish, and then you just aren’t sure how you feel.
Whenever these dystopian novels get into the territory of young girls “breeding” it makes me squirm. What is so different about Bumped is that the young girls in question are enthusiastic participants in being “bumped”. There is a virus that makes it impossible for anyone over 18 unable to reproduce, so teens are a hot commodity for older couples. They pay teens to be surrogates to keep up with the decline in population.
Not only is teen pregnancy no longer taboo - it is encouraged and celebrated. No condoms allowed. Ads play songs with lyrics like “ You’re knocked up. Ready to pop. Due to drop” Young girls wear FunBumps so they can feel the joy of being pregnant until they really are. You can make quite a bit of money and most of the teenagers try to ride the wave while they are young enough to get enough money for college.
The story focuses on two twin sisters separated at birth who have just found each other. Melody has been raised to be the perfect baby making machine for the elite couples in society. Her parents provide her with the best education, the best activities & training to keep her in tip top breeding shape. She is a Repro that will get top dollar once her cock-jockey is chosen. Yup - I said cock-jockey....more on the lingo later.
Harmony is the twin that has been raised by an ultra conservative church family. Her mission in life is to spread the Word and save Melody and all the other Repros from their fate. She believes in procreation through marriage which all sounds fantastic but this is a world that is every bit as controlling and brainwashing as Melody’s.
Both sisters live in oppressive societies and believe whole heartedly in their respective actions. It’s an interesting dichotomy and it works....up to a point. At times I felt that there was a bit of mocking of Harmony’s faith and a hope that she would fall a bit from her chosen path of righteousness. I do understand that was not the author’s intent but it did come off that way to me a few times.
Megan McCafferty has created such a fascinating and disturbing dystopian world in Bumped yet for some reason I couldn’t quite connect to anyone.
The story kind of plunks you right in the middle and I felt like I never got a proper introduction. The language has so much slang specific to this world that it takes a while to be able to understand it. I found it very distracting at first. Almost everything is explained but often 3 or 4 chapters later and I was left confused in the meantime as to what the hell anyone was talking about. Maybe I’m just too old to read this book. It seemed that there wasn’t one word in the English language that was spared. Negative is neggy, preggy instead of pregnant, a boy you would have sex with but not procreate with is an everythingbut, you’re fertilicious instead of fertile and there are massSEX parties. I could go on and on. Again I know she is going for satire and full immersion into this dystopian world. It felt just too self consciously hip at times for me. McCafferty has said she was inspired by the recent spat of MTV teenage pregnancy shows and admittedly I don’t like watching any of them so maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy reading about it either. Her writing is good and it’s a good story - I’m just not sure it was the book for me.
Then the last 1/3 of the book rolled around and I was glued to the pages. Finally it seemed that all the threads of the story started coming together, there was quite a bit of action and both sisters came to some big realizations. Although it took me awhile to get into Bumped, I do think I will be checking out the second book.
I think this is going to be one of those polarizing books that you either “get it” or you don’t. I’m still not sure what side I stand on.
Rating: 2.5 out of 4
Author's website: http://www.meganmccafferty.com/
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: ARC provided for review from the Amazon Vine program
Buy the Book: Bumped Release date 4/26/2011