Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

April 21st, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received through NetGalley

Publication date: April 26, 2011

Publisher Balzer + Bray

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from 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.

This was one of those books when I saw the cover it did not pull me in but once I saw it appearing on so many blogs as a Waiting on Wednesday pick I finally read the summary and immediately put it on my wish list.  I love dystopian stories and although life isn’t necessarily horrible for people living in this time it is pretty mind blowing to read about a society in which it’s acceptable for teenagers to try to get pregnant as often as possible.

Last month I reviewed Wither by Lauren DeStefano, which I really enjoyed.   Both these books had a similar core issue.  A virus was causing a down turn in population because in Wither the men and women were automatically dying at a young age and in this book they were becoming infertile at a young age.  So I was curious how Megan McCafferty was going to weave her world and if there would be any similarities.  I have to give her credit that she spun a very different society than DeStefano and yet it was so well built that it was a little creepy.  Instead of pro-abstinence or safe sex there were advertisements every where for teenagers to get “bumped” and how it’s a source of pride to get pregnant early and often.

Everything was pretty predictable.  You know how Zen really feels about Melody and you have an idea of what will happen between Melody, Harmony and Jondoe but that doesn’t keep you from being glued to this book.  Initially some of the characters felt a little flat like Harmony was so one dimensionally preachy that it was hard to really relate to her but about half way through the book you start to see the complexities to her character.  Melody starts off similarly until the story really dives into the pressure she is feeling from her friends, parents and society in general to have sex and deliver a baby before she is past her prime.

My main problem with this book was the fact that it ends in a way that you know there will be a sequel and if it follows the trend of other YA books most likely at least a trilogy.  I felt that it could have been nicely tied up as a standalone book.  I’m really getting tired of books always being a part of a series these days.  Other than that this is another great dystopian book to add to the collection.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

7 Responses

  1. Jenn

    I’m sorry, but yikes! Having teacher friends who have had numerous pregnant teens over the years,I can’t even fathom a YA book, let alone a trend, that might be construed to encourage teen pregnancy, particularly if the characters are compelling and the story well-written. I appreciate that the whole world-turned-upside-down bit sounds like an interesting concept, but geez. I think I’m getting old.

  2. We Heart YA

    Hey, great review. In general (after reading a few of your recent reviews) you don’t seem swayed by hype or fan-girl tendencies, and I can really respect that. It’s refreshing.

    We just started a new blog to talk about YA — not book reviews, more like what’s happening in YA (like the dystopian mania, and the trilogy fever, etc.) both good and bad. What’s lacking, what’s coming up, etc. We’re hoping for thoughtful discussion, and we’d love to see you there!

  3. Grace

    I enjoyed your review and I am also getting tired of all these trilogies and series!

  4. Pam (@iwriteinbooks)

    Ugh, I just finished a book (I think Delirium?) that I LOVED at the end but then felt crushed when I found it that it was supposed to become a trilogy. SOMETIMES…books are just better left alone!

  5. Michelle

    I really liked the social commentary of this book. I thought it was an interesting way to spark discussion on abstitnence and teen pregancy. Interestingly enough, I didn’t know it was the first in a series until a few days ago. I think it could have stood alone as well but admit I’m intrested to see where the further books take the story.

  6. Jennie

    I felt the same – it could have been a stand alone book just fine.

  7. Wrighty

    I’ve been enjoying dystopian books too but I agree about the series overload. There are too many! And if I start one I just have to find out how it ends. There are plenty of series that I enjoy but not every book has to be a part of one.

    Great review and interesting comments! :)

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