Thursday, April 21, 2011

READING : Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Publication date: April 26th, 2011
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 4/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011
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.
I have to admit that writing a review for Bumped, proved to be much harder than I originally thought. I don't know what to say about this book, aside from it being so much different than anything I've read so far.

After a lot of thought, I decided I generally liked Bumped. Fist and foremost, it is an undoubtedly very original book. I always give credit where credit is due and when I come across a book with an original story, especially nowadays when originality seems to be a lost art, I immediately know that, worst case scenario, it will be an OK book. Is Bumped more than an OK book? I think yes. 

McCafferty has done an amazing job in building this futuristic, and honestly kinda disturbing, world in Bumped. The lingo she made up kinda put me off at first to be honest, but after the first 50 pages I  got used to it and liked it, even.
Told from the POV of twin sisters, Melody and Harmony, on one hand you have the progressive, pro "bumping" world Melody lives in. In a nutshell, a world where teen girls' reproductives systems are being bought by wealthy families who want to have a baby. Needless to say, the girls never get to see their babies, as they are snatched away from them from them moment they are born. Think of it as "wombs for rent", or something like that. It's a world where bumping is not only a given, but also encouraged by the society and media. Not having been bumped is of course frowned upon.
 On the other hand, you have the religious, "bumping is a sin"-world Harmony lives in. Harmony grew up totally ignorant of the outside world and the progress of technology. Her main goal is to preach God's word, in the hopes of saving as many souls as she can, especially her sister's. 
Now, it's pointless to weigh the pros and cons of each world, as I honestly wouldn't want to live in either of them! And that is Melody and Harmony's main moral dilemma, I think. They both know that they can't take the oppression any more and want to escape their worlds, but realise there is nowhere left to run.

Even though I think the characters where likeable enough(I struggled a bit with Harmony at first, but as I read further I came around), I couldn't bring myself to care deeply for any of them. I can't pinpoint exactly what was it that put me off about these girls. Is it Harmony's overzealousness to bring everyone to the path of righteousness, even though she herself is unhappy? Is it Melody's non-chalant behavior even though she suspects there is something wrong with the way of the world? Can't really say.

All I know is that Bumped will surely get you thinking about it a lot after reading it. I would like to have been given more info on the virus that makes it impossible for girls to reproduce after the age of 18. What caused it, when it all started, dates. Come to think of it, I am pretty sure no date is mentioned in the book. So we don't really know when exactly the story takes place. I maybe wrong though, I can't remember.

If you like books with a controversial theme, books that make you lay awake at night wondering "what if?", then Bumped is definitely the book for you!

PS.Beware of the ending, because it would leave you gaping, wanting more.
Bumped #2 comes out sometime in 2011.

This book has been given to me by NetGalley, free of charge.
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  1. I'm still not 100% sure how I felt about Bumped!

  2. @Karen You know I was pretty torn after I read it. But then when I couldn't get it out of mind, I realised that's gotta mean something.Hence 4/5.

  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Although most of the time I like to read calmer stories that are "easy" reads I do every once in a while to read a book that leaves you wondering. I love movies like that too, sure I love chick flicks but sometimes you have to change it up. Thanks for the great review. :)

  4. I remember seeing a couple of dates. I read the Kindle version and tried to do a search but could not find the exact spots. I was thinking that it was around 2035 or so. I wish I could have found it again to say for sure.

    I had not heard when the sequel was coming out. I am glad that it is soon!


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