Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bumped (e-book) by Megan McCafferty

In a world where adults lose fertility around the age of 20 due to a virus, Melody is one of the first girls in her class to go pro, as in professional surrogate.  Offered a highly lucrative contact to preg for a well-to-do couple, all she has to do is wait for them to find the perfect match for her.  Then her long-lost, "Godfreaky" twin sister, Harmony, shows up wanting her to give up pregging for money and move to Goodside, the religious compound, with her.  However, when the surrogate parents finally find the perfect donor, things begin to change for the twins in an unexpected way.

I feel like this book was saying a whole lot of things.  I also feel like most of things went over my head as I was distracted by the onslaught of pregnancy related slang.  The sheer amount of it almost overwhelmed me.  Since society has now become focused on encouraging teenage girls to become pregnant, of course the slang would move along with it.  It made me laugh but it also made me scratch my head occasionally.  And if I had a nickel for every time the word "bump" was used, well, then I'd have a lot of nickels.

Still this is a very clever book.  In fact, everything about this book screamed clever.  It is a biting look at society's tendencies to go overboard with an idea and also to commercialize it.  From the FunBump available for the "pre-bumped" to the use of "man brands" (sperm donors), everything about this society is focused on surrogates and child birthing.  And I mean everything.  I had a hard time grasping the timeline of when all the adults went sterile but everything in the books seemed a bit frantic like babies had to be had now or the world would end.  And, by making teenage pregnancy not only palatable but extremely desirable, the message of why they were doing it becomes lost in the marketing.

As for the characters, I can't say I liked either one of the twins that much.  They represent two extremes and it's hard to relate to an extreme.  In fact, the only likable character is Zen, the friend of Melody, who acts like the only voice of reason in the whole book.  Everyone is a caricature from both Melody and Harmony down to every adult and teenager in the book with the exception of Zen.  Nothing in the whole book felt real and I was emotionally separated from the characters' plights, much like the pregnant teenagers from their bumps. 

It is a quirky and interesting book though.  I found myself racing through it, curious to see what happens next.  Was I surprised by the turn of events near the end of the book?  No, not really.  Am I curious to see what happens next?  Yes, actually I am.  There were things that could possibly develop into something interesting for the characters and I'd like to see if they are addressed and how so.  A lot of people really like this book and I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it.  It was worth reading and I guess that's the best thing I can say.

Provided by NetGalley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish date: April 26, 2011
Hogwarts: Charms

6 comments:

  1. I belong to those that really loved this one. I found it a fresh take in the dystopian genre that often is dark and rough. This one here was so funny I found it great! Maybe you grow into this series with the next one coming out.
    :)

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  2. I really liked this one. I liked the onslaught of slang and cultural changes because it felt authentic in a way that most YA dystopia has lacked for me. The narrators are first person - they aren't going to stop to explain to me why they speak the way they do. It was confusing at first, but I adjusted (especially when Zen explained things to Melody) and after that I was really invested in the story. I liked both twins and felt for them both, and I can't wait to read the sequel! It's been a long time since I could say that. :D

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  3. Great to hear the book was clever, I'll hopefully think so too when I read it. Thanks for the review!

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  4. Hmmm, I've been wanting to read this book, but maybe it won't make it to the top of my TBR pile just yet. Thanks for the honest review!

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  5. Clever! ;) I keep reading fab reviews for this book, but I don't know if I will love this one. ;) I do like suprises!

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