Author: Megan McCafferty
Series: Bumped #1
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
Date: April 2011
Buy the Book • 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.
This is quite simply the most difficult review I think I’ve ever tried to write. Bumped has left me completely torn in two!
On the one hand, its dystopian, which I love and it has an original story line, which I also loved. But on the other hand the way it is written bothered me. And I spent half of the book confused and completely bewildered as to what on earth was happening!
I’m not going to even attempt to explain the story line in too greater detail because I think the synopsis does a perfect job of that, but basically the story is told from the point of views of both Melody and Harmony (our 2 protagonists) the twins who were separated at birth.
The story starts when Harmony has turned up on Melody’s door step to visit her. Harmony is the religious one and has been brought up to believe that having children before marriage is a sin. Whereas Melody has been brought up to breed for money – serious money. And all she cares about is ‘bumping’ as soon as possible!! So Harmony thinks that she can convert Melody into giving up her ‘preggie contract’ and turning to God. This proves to be less than easy when Harmony comes face to face with Jondoe, Melody’s ‘would be’ sperm donor and is instantly connected to him herself. What happens next is a journey of betrayal, discovery and friendship that neither girl could have expected!
Now the main problem I had with this story was that, as I mentioned, for half the book I had no idea what was happening. The main reason for this is because we are thrown head first straight into the story with no explanation of anything beforehand. I was completely lost. Also, the author has invented a kind of futuristic slang speak that was sooooo difficult to follow. We as the reader are just expected to pick this up as we go along and this really annoyed me. I would often find myself reading a sentence containing 3 or 4 weird ‘slang’ words and thus – the sentence held no meaning as I didn’t understand those words!! Obviously this affected my experience of reading the story which was a great shame.
Anyway, after I finally came to grips with most of the language (some of which I actually still don’t understand even after finishing) I was just over half way through the book. And from this point on I really enjoyed the rest of the story.
As I said, the idea of the story is really interesting and completely unique. I’ve never read anything like it. The journey that both girls go on is intriguing and reminded me of a coming of age tale. As both girls start to realise that the way they were both brought up is not the perfect way to live and start to grow close together I came to really like them both as characters. This and the ending is what earned this book the 3 stars I gave it. The ending held lots of promise for the sequel ‘Thumped’ and I’m crossing my fingers that it will be a bit better ‘put together’ than Bumped is!