Sunday, April 24, 2011

review: bumped by megan mccafferty

In a world where teens are expected to get pregnant before a potential virus renders them infertile, attractive twins named Melody and Harmony are very desirable breeders. Or at least Melody is. The twins were adopted by different families (almost all children are adopted in this dystopian universe) and have only just now found each other at sixteen. Harmony ended up with The Church meaning she’s expected to marry young and attempt to have biological children with her husband. Melody, on the other hand, goes to a regular high school, will likely go to college (the money she gets for her baby will more than cover tuition), and will decide when and if she eventually marries.

With Bumped, Megan McCafferty immediately plunges the reader into this new world. There’s no explanation of the rules and only a little background is given in the first few pages. I was confused at times (for example, why hadn’t Melody “bumped” yet?), but things became much clearer by the second section which is when I really started getting into Bumped. It is a world much like our own, but technology has advanced and everyone uses MiNet to contact each other and track people’s whereabouts (it's not overt, but this is an interesting commentary on people's current obsession with broadcasting minute details of their lives). McCafferty did an excellent job creating a plausible future where babies and the teens who birth them are hot commodities. It is an incredibly enjoyable story, though it is disturbing to think people could come to this. (And by this I mean the fact that the desirable teens are expected to sleep together for the sole purpose of creating a baby as genetically perfect as possible and that the baby is essentially sold to the highest bidder.)

Here’s the thing though: I really wish Bumped had ended one chapter before it did. I don’t need every loose end wrapped up by the end of a book (especially when there’s going to be a sequel as there will be with Bumped), but the last chapter reopened questions I thought had been answered. It left me expecting another chapter whereas the second to last chapter provided a satisfying conclusion.
ARC Review
Review copy provided by the publisher, Balzer + Bray.

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