Bumped (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Bumped #1

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. 

In Melody and Harmony's world, only teenagers are fertile, and are strongly encouraged to get pregnant very young. Separated at birth, they both have led very different lives, with Melody preparing for her very first pro bump, and Harmony a patron of a very strict church with cult like rules. When they meet at the age of 16 they realize that nothing will ever be the same, especially when one is mistaken for the other. As a result they both will have some tough decisions to make as a path has opened up that neither one saw coming.

Melody and Harmony may come from completely different backgrounds, but in the end they really are the same. Whether or not they realize it at first, they both just want the opportunity to make their own choices. Melody has been groomed to be the perfect match for a pro bumping since she was a baby. Every move she makes is supposed to me made in order to better herself. Harmony on the other hand was raised in a cult like setting of a church, and must follow the strict rules without question. Both girls have been pushed and pressured into having babies as young as possible and both seem to resent this, even if they won't admit it to themselves. I have a feeling the next book will be even more about both of them making the tough choices they never thought possible. I just hope they have the strength to stand up to the pressure.

While Bumped may not seem as dark as some of the other dystopian novels out there, it actually felt more chilling to me. This is because it could actually happen. If our world were to get a virus that made everyone but teens sterile, then this books paints a very likely picture of how things would be. I guess it bothered me more than some of the other dystopians as it was less of a "what if" and more of a look into a possible future. Our society is so commercialized, and sex is already thrown down our throats by the media. If that virus were real, you would find both society and even the parents themselves pressuring their children into pregnancies, just like in the book. The characters are pressured from so many different directions, and for anyone who isn't "bumping," well, they may as well commit social suicide. When you take a step back, this only a more extreme version of the pressure our teens are actually under. The media shows that only skinny people are attractive, and that you have to be sexy. Teen pregnancies are being sensationalized and it makes me wonder where things are heading.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, and now that I have, I cannot help but be a little disappointed. The slang and the extremely odd religious aspects made it very confusing at first. It took me a while to figure out what was going on as well as get used to the lingo being used. It just felt like we were thrown into the middle of things without any explanation. This did get better as the book went on. However, the ending frustrated me all over again. It seemed once things picked up and started to get really good, then Wham!, a major cliffhanger ending. The concept of the book was really good, I just wish there had of been a little more set up in the beginning, and a little less of a cliffhanger at the end. All in all it was a good book, and I am eager to see what is in store next.

(Received from Netgalley)

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