Friday, January 27, 2012

Review of BUMPED

BUMPED by Megan McCafferty
Series Book 1 in Bumped series (book 2, THUMPED due out April 24)
Summary taken from Goodreads...

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to 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 Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody 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.


My Review: 4/5 .
I found the premise of this book interesting.  Living in a future where adults are unable to conceive and so they turn to teenagers.  Teenagers, being, well, teenagers, then view pregnancy as a boost to their popularity status.  They even sport fake baby bumps as accessories to their fashion.  I began the book with an open mind, having read the summary and knowing it was going to be at least mildly offensive to me at some point. Still, I spent a better part of the book slack-jawed and brow furrowed.  The story follows twin sisters who have had entirely different upbringings.  One was raised in a modern society where it's cool to be 16 and pregnant.  She's landed a contract with a couple who will pay for everything, including college. But, this involves getting pregnant by someone they pick out for her, cause they want genetically-specific characteristics in their baby.  The other sister is raised by a religious group that come off as zealots.  Their practices are extreme (e.g. they make women wear veils and be completely covered in public, things like that).  They're at the other end of the spectrum. 

Though I liked this book, there were several things that prevented me from really loving it.  I would've liked  it better were it not for several offenses.  First offense was the lingo.  It was, for lack of a better word, stupid.  They said things like "bumped", "bumptastic" and "breedy bits" constantly.  I realize the author was trying to emphasize the different day and age and with pregnancy being such a popular thing the lingo was part of the setup.  But, it only managed to annoy me.  I spent too much time trying to decipher what the words meant.  Second offense was the portrayal of religious people.  It seemed, in my opinion, that people were either religious fanatics or modern-minded (thinking that teens getting pregnant for profit was an acceptable thing to do). There are 3 characters I would file under both, but that doesn't equate to normal.  I don't think I can go into further detail without spoilers, so I won't.  Third offense, how annoying the characters were.  Exception to offenses 2 and 3 is given to the character of Zen, best friend to one of the twins.  But I think it's only because he didn't fall into the genetically-desired status and was viewed as a reproductive reject.  If he had been a reproductively viable partner would he have been just like the rest of them?   Who knows?

I would've given this book a 3/5 rating, but I threw in the extra rating point because the book made me think.  It trivialized things that are very important to me and I rolled my eyes more than once, but it also gave  me another outlook to consider.  One that I never would've had without reading this book. I don't mind being exposed to a different way of thinking or viewing things, so I welcomed that.  This book was creative and controversial.  I haven't read another book quite like this one and I place value on that.

5 comments:

  1. Arla, I just love what you've done with your blog in such a short time. And this post really touches my heart. It's nice to know someone other than fellow indies understands and respects the amount of work we're faced with. I'm so glad I got to know you at the Indelibles blogger chat. The time constraints of writing and marketing make it difficult for me to keep up with all the blogs I follow, let alone comment sometimes, but I'll be lurking, watching your little blog grow. I wish you all the best of luck with it. :)

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    1. Lisa, I can't express how much I appreciate every kind word from you and the pat on the back, especially with your time constraints. Some days it feels like I'm sending words into a black hole, never to be noticed or acknowledged. It's an eye opener to realize how much I needed that pat on the back too. Sheesh. How old am I?

      I just finished your book yesterday and I'm trying to pick my words carefully for the review. I need to properly convey how much I enjoyed this book and it's message. I have to say more than "I LOVED this book and each of the characters! Everybody, READ. IT. NOW. Or else!"

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  2. Argh! I thought I was commenting on you post below about why you're blogging. And I don't know how I managed to comment twice, so please feel free to delete one of them. :) I suppose that's a good argument against multitasking.

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  3. Stephanie Warren BuffingtonJanuary 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    You convinced me, I just bought Bumped for my Kindle.

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  4. You gotta let me know what you think of it when you're done.

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