Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

BumpedRelease Date: 4/28/11
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: e-Galley
Challenge100 Books in a Year

When a virus makes everyone over the age of 18 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.

First Sentences
"I'm sixteen.  Pregnant.  And the most important person on the planet."

My Thoughts
I still don't know how I really feel about this book.  I mean at first it was kind of slow going and I didn't really understand what was going on...but then it was like BAM, over.  I was left with my jaw on the floor and my eyebrow cocked.  What just happened!?
Anyway, the main character is Melody, and her twin sister's name is Harmony (a little cliche, don't you think?)  I found it very hard to differentiate between the two, because the chapters went back and forth between the two and I would forget which was which.  I saw a review this morning that named Melody "futuristic twin" and Harmony "religious twin".  I like that because I can actually remember who is who now.  
The story is set in the future, and basically there is a disease that causes people to become infertile around their 18th birthday.  I know this is supposed to be futuristic, but I have two problems with that.  There wasn't a lot of explanation about the disease, and if there was it was probably written in the futuristic lingo that Melody spoke in, which half of I didn't really get.  So, the real question is how do you get the disease?  On your birthday do you wake up infertile?  Because later in the book there are mentions of how even though some of the characters are going to be 18 in a few months, they still might be able to procreate for a little while after.  The second problem for me is that it just doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.  I don't want 13 and 14 year old girls walking around my town knocked up...maybe that's just me?  I also don't really understand how someone that young would be okay with something so incredibly drastic like having a baby and giving it away.  I don't know, I also know that in the beginning Harmony mentions that there are plenty of twenty and thirty year olds that are still being impregnated -- how is that possible?
Enough on that Melody, or "futuristic twin" goes to high school in Otherside (side note: not only did the names Melody and Harmony kind of annoy me...but the names of the town were a little much too..."Goodside" = religious town, "Otherside" = bad, naughty naughty bumping side), and is in this pro-preggy-bumping club.  Now that she signed a contract with a family they will be paying her tons of money to basically buy her baby.  She is supposed to be paired up with a genetically awesome match that her agent has to find.  While waiting for this perfect match, Melody's twin sister, Harmony, or "religious twin" shows up on her doorstep.  
Now that the two girls are together, the whole thing takes a turn for the worst.  Harmony and her futuristic lingo annoy the heck out of me - mostly because half the time she was all neggy and bumpy and whatever other crazy words that have no meaning to me.  I should have had urban dictionary pulled up while reading this -- it was harder to understand than the books I read for Brit Lit (that's a stretch, but I'm trying to make a point here...).  If the futuristic speak wasn't enough to drive you to insanity --- wait for the uber religious speak.  For serious, it kills me.  I'm from the Bible Belt...I know how religious people talk, but never in my life have I heard someone say "oh my grace".  If Harmony had said that one more time, I would have put the book down.  
So, Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep...they are twins that were separated at birth, and could not be more different.  Harmony is hoping that she can "save" Melody and bring her back to Goodside to become a wife and a mother.  Did I mention these girls are 16?  Yep, so Melody is not very happy to see Harmony on her doorstep -- they had MiChatted a few times back and forth, but it was a shocker for Melody to be looking at someone else and see herself staring back.  
So the first half of the book is filled with all this backwards information.  It is like all these crazy words and procedures and things that I just didn't know what they were.  I'm not super high-tech but I did feel like an old fart not knowing what these words meant.  Everything was basically dumped on in the beginning, and then somewhat explained later in the book.  
I had a hard time following the story with all of the for seriously awkward lingo going on (except for "for serious, as that is probably my new favorite phrase).  Then, as I felt like I was finally understanding what was going on, the story ended.  I'm pretty sure I understand what was going on, but I'm not sure I liked it.  The pace was extremely staggered, and odd, while the flow of going from one character to another was not smooth.  
I think that the premise for this book was a good one, I just don't think the plan was executed as well as it could have been.  The cover is incredibly cute, and I think it would have definitely grabbed my attention in a book store.  If you like dystopian books, you might like this as well...and I recommend it based on the length and (somewhat awkward at times) speed.  

Favorite Quotes
"The United States of America once ranked above all industrialized nations in the realm of teen pregnancy.  We were the undisputed queens of precious procreation!  We were number one before, and we can be number one again! - Presidential State of the Union Address"

"I know the Bible.  Very well.  I know it as a curious reader who loves words with little to no access to any other reading material.  The Bible contains some of the most inspirational and miraculous stories ever put to paper, but also some of the most vicious and vile acts imaginable.  Mass murder!  Human sacrifice!  Inappropriate affections with livestock!  I know the verses that the preachers don't like to talk about on Sunday's.  I also know that you can find a verse to support just about any argument, and another verse to shut it down.  If it's all the Word of God, how can we simply ignore the parts that don't fit our beliefs?"

"For serious."



Likes: The cover, and the idea behind the story.
Dislikes: Melody/Harmony names.  Otherside/Goodside names.  The frequent, overbearing use of the futuristic lingo.
Favorite Character: Zen
Least Favorite Character: Harmony
Cover: 5/5 
Characters: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Reading!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  This in no way affected my review.

1 comment:

Lisa (Lisa's World of Books) said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one who felt this way about this book!


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