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.
Believe it or not but I have never read anything by Megan McCafferty. Yes, I am totally admitting to having not read the Jessica Darling series, and after reading McCafferty's first official YA novel, Bumped, I am not sure that I will read the Jessica Darling series. It's hard to explain my exact feelings on this book. I liked it, sort of, there were some things that I did not like, and that could have possibly made me not like the book at all, almost to the point of thinking it wasn't a very good story. I should mention that I have not read very many dystopian novels, as I am not a huge fan of the genre. But I have read a couple that I have enjoyed, and seeing as dystopian novels are growing in popularity in YA fiction, I will keep giving them a try.
The issues that I had with this novel stemmed mainly from the language. I did not like how complicated some of the language was, using words like reproaesthetical, I was sometimes confused with what the characters were talking about. This really irritated me. The language that McCafferty created for Bumped came across as very immature and trite to me. The vocabulary that was used by the characters did not add to the novel in any way, it actually cut into how I read the book. I would get stuck on a word and have to try and figure out what it meant. Which was hassle.
I thought the characters were ok. Not great. I liked Harmony (even though many thought she was annoying), I thought she was kind of funny, and endearing, regardless of her being incredibly naive. She was earnest and I enjoyed that about her. I was not fond of Melody, I found her to be very spoiled, which did not sit well with me. The guys in the story left me wanting. Although Zen was kind of funny. But again he was nothing special. Mediocre characters is what Bumped was filled with.
I did appreciate McCafferty's attempt to show that teenagers are not mature enough to be having babies. With all the television shows out there these days glamorizing teen pregnancy, this book showcases that having kids is a big responsibility, and that it's not something teenagers should have to take on. I also liked the idea of once a baby is there that you can't take care of, give him/her a couple who wants it SO badly but can' conceive themselves (although Bumped said this a little differently I think it was the general idea). I felt like this book was pro-adoption in it's own way. I also liked how McCafferty brought to light how some faith groups can be so fanatical that they forget their grass roots, and what some people will do in the name of God-and how off they can be.
There were small things in this book that I appreciated however I don't think the execution was very smooth. I am curious about what happens next in this series which is the only reason why I am considering the next book. But I don't know that I will read it. We'll see.
Happy Reading Everyone!