Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until 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 religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her 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 Goodreads.com)
Bumped was one of my highly anticipated books this year. I’d tried desperately to get a copy via Netgalley early on, to no avail so was more than ecstatic when it turned up unannounced through my mailbox several weeks ago. So it is with regret I say I didn’t like it.
Didn’t like it/didn’t get it…it was a bit of both. I honestly thought the idea was such a fantastic one that I felt I was missing something by reacting so strongly against it. Maybe I am, the book has very mixed reviews so clearly it’s a marmite one. The problems I found with it was believability. I just could not believe that in twenty years in our future we’d be willing to glorify kids as young as 13/14 having sex. I could believe in the idea that only under eighteens could carry children, but I didn’t really get why we (society) would have lost all morals and would pit young kids against each other as they fought to win the best surrogate deal. And also, surely with the amount of technology that’s present in this world it could be done without the actual act of sex. It honestly made my stomach heave.
I could see what the author was trying to say about our culture, but sadly I just don’t think that message came across in the brash, in your face style it was written. I cringed my way through this book, at times feeling physically sick…but not in a thought provoking way, more in sheer disgust. I also really hated the new slang littered throughout this book, which was annoying to say the least. I wanted to vomit every time I read the word Fertilicious
I did like the contrast between Harmony’s old-fashioned devout church puritan upbringing and Melody’s bubblegum world, where pregnant teens are the new celebrities and reality TV stars. And I also thought some of the futuristic inventions were pretty clever, such as the internet contact lenses…now I can believe in a population who’s eye’s flicker gormlessly as they can’t pull themselves away from the virtual world. I’m kind of like that now as I crash into stuff with my head gazing down at my phone!
Unfortunately I can’t recommend this book, it just made me feel too uncomfortable but for all the wrong reasons. I felt the author had so much fun creating this world, she forgot to give it a sinister edge and the result is a book that appears to make teen pregnancy attractive rather than what I guess was the original goal. For me, it was just too weird. If you think you may be offended in anyway by the topics I’ve mentioned then I scream AVOID to you.
Published by Random House Children's Books Aug 2011
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review