Thursday, May 5, 2011

REVIEW - Bumped

Bumped (Bumped, #1)Bumped by Megan McCafferty

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads: 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. 

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 thoughts:
Where do you begin on such a controversial subject? Megan McCafferty stated in a letter to the reader that she was creating a world where teen sex is encouraged instead of the confusion that we have. She was making a point about the teens caught in the middle of our society today.  She is taking an all or nothing approach. It's a society where teens are prostituted to have babies.

Melody and Harmony are identical twins separated at birth. One is raised, Harmony, in a highly religious society. I would even say cultish society. They do not leave the compound, wear clothing that leaves everything to the imagination and are told who to marry. They train their whole lives to become a wife and mother.

Melody is raised planning to surrogate deliver a baby for massive amounts of money. Both girls are given little choices to their future. They both have a purpose, chosen by their adoptive parents, Melody and Harmony are two extremes, they are direct opposites at the beginning of the novel.

The subject matter was so sensitive and horrifying to me that I struggled to read this book. At the same time I really wanted to see where McCaffery was taking the story. I can't and never want to imagine where a culture glorifies teen sex. Little girls as young as eleven are pregnant and are given scholarships if they can produce as many babies as possible before graduation. UGH!

This is a dystopian novel to the fullest. A virus has made it impossible for people to procreate after age 18. The world is facing extinction. Little girls carry around packs referring to their first menstrual cycle. They can't wait until it is their turn to sport a fashionable bump. No love, all business.

I will say that McCafferty has succeeded in creating a world making me think   You cannot read this book without thinking.  Her subject matter is very controversial.  Some will applaud this work and the forward thinking, others like me will be sick at heart.

It is well written,  even  though the cultural wording is offensive. It makes me glad that I live in a time where there is middle ground. This is a book about extremes.  I don't know that there will be middle ground reviews.  This book will be either love or hate. It depends where  you fall the spectrum. I received a copy to review from Netgalley.

I would not recommend this book to young teens.  Older teens would need parental permission in my opinion.

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