Sunday, February 5, 2012

REVIEW: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped (Bumped #1)
by Megan McCafferty

Pub:April 26th 2011 by Balzer + Bray

Review Copy: personal ebook (Kobo Vox)

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 bought this ebook for 99c on sale. What a great deal. Bumped probably shouldn't have been as fun a read as it was considering the seriousness of the subject matter but it had a lightness to it that made it funny, even when it was also horrifying. 

The book follows two twin sisters who have just reunited. Melody and Harmony we separated at birth and raised by very different parents. The chapters switch back and forth between each sister, giving the reader two very different perspectives on what's going on.

What made this book work so well for me was that I liked both sisters pretty equally. I think I found Harmony a touch more interesting, but that was probably because there is a little more mystery to just what she was up to. Neither sister was exactly how they appeared to be at the start of the book, but Harmony had more mysteries that needed unravelling.

In the world of Bumped, a virus has infected most of the population, causing people to lose their ability to reproduce around eighteen year of age. This has led to a world where older people have begun hiring teenagers as surrogates to have babies for them. 

Melody scores high on genetic traits that people want so she is able to secure a lucrative contract (the first at her school) while Harmony has been raised on a religious commune where the the virus is less common but where girls are forced into marriage to men in the community. 

Their lives begin to intertwine when Harmony seeks out Melody at sixteen, after learning she is a twin and the story starts just after Harmony has arrived at Melody's doorstep wanting to connect.

This wasn't a book where I fell in love with the characters, or loved the story, but it was an interesting and well written story.

The commercialization of teen pregnancy felt all to plausible. I could easily imagine it's possibility. The idea of stores selling fake baby bumps to young girls seemed sick but also something companies would do. 

I really liked the back and forth between Melody's and Harmony's points of view. Both had a unique perspective on what was happening. The secondary characters were also well created and added to the story. 

Overall, Bumped was an eerily possible look at a dystopian future. It was an interesting alternative take on a similar idea as Wither by Lauren DeStefano, where the young actually die, but the focus is also on teenagers breeding future generations. It's a interesting premise that will make you think. The second book the series, Thumped comes out in April this year and I'll be reading it to see what happens to both Melody and Harmony.

Happy Reading!

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