Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Published: April 26, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Source: Tour/Cornucopia of Dystopia
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.
Melody and Harmony were born into a world where teen pregnancy is as valuable as money in society. Melody never knew Harmony, but now they've found each other and must learn to come to terms with the upbringing the other has received. Melody has a goal - she wants to bump and receive all the status and money that comes with it. Harmony, however, wants nothing more than to be the perfect wife and mother. But despite their different lives, their identical looks are going to send them on a journey together that's both a blessing and a curse - pretty much the same as their chance meeting.
Bumped is another big-name book in the wave of new dystopian novels taking over the YA market. Written by veteran author Megan McCafferty, known for her popular and well-written Jessica Darling series, Bumped presents a world that puts an all new spin on the media craze we see today. Whereas we watch shows such as Teen Mom and The Pregnancy Pact, Bumped turns this phenomenon on its head, making teen pregnancy a valuable, enviable and coveted turn of events. It's a unique twist on the dystopian genre - slightly creepy and eerily fascinating, but definitely and completely one-of-a-kind.
Promising premise aside though, I have to admit that Bumped fell flat for me. From page one the book is cluttered with the slang of the world Melody and Harmony live in. In fact, it was so jarring that I actually put it down to attempt to digest who the characters actually were. Furthermore, Bumped is written from both Melody and Harmony's POVs, alternating by chapter and furthering my confusion. Now, don't get me wrong, the irony of the world of Bumped is not lost on me. That said, I felt it was contrasting with an overtly perky voice that didn't fit a story that, I'm assuming, was supposed to be somewhat serious. I'm a fan of Megan's other books, so I was surprised this didn't work for me.
Now, I'm not saying that Bumped is a bad book, but I'm confused about the audience of Bumped, as well as what I was supposed to take away from it. If it was supposed to be ironic, or a play on what we see today, I would want that to be more apparent and not masked by slang and dialogue that just didn't work for me. I hate giving bad reviews, but I give it a 2.5 out of 5 for the original premise and the author's talent, alone. I would still recommend it to fans of an upper YA audience, as well as those who enjoy dystopian novels.