Sixteen year old Melanie lives in a world where a virus has made everyone over the age of 18 infertile. Adults pay teenagers to conceive and give birth to their children. Melody has scored a lucrative deal with a couple who chose her to conceive, but they haven’t yet found the perfect match for her to bump with. In the meantime, all around her, Melody’s friends and classmates are getting pregnant.
When Melody learns that she has an identical twin sister, Harmony, she is shocked. Harmony has spent her entire life in a religious town called Goodside and comes to Melody’s home hoping to convert her and bring her back to Goodside.
As Melody is grappling with the news that she has a twin sister, and that her twin sister is here in her town trying to convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin, Melody learns that she has finally scored a contract with the famous Jondoe. Except, it isn’t Melody that receives the news…it’s Harmony. And from there, both girls go on a journey that neither of them would have ever expected.
It took me awhile to really get into BUMPED. I started it, was completely confused by the strange language and decided to put it down for awhile. Not one to give up on a book, especially one by one of my favorite authors, a few days later I picked it up again. Once I got about 50 pages in, I began to understand the world and the language a bit more, and I was able to enjoy the story.
Let’s talk about Melody and Harmony’s world. Wow. Can you imagine a world where only teenagers can get pregnant? A world where young girls are praised for having sex and getting pregnant multiple times before their 18th birthdays? Crazy. McCafferty definitely had me intrigued with this unique plot. As I mentioned, it was extremely difficult to initially understand the world (and perhaps this was done on purpose, although it did frustrate me) but once I decided to just read and not overanalyze, I really enjoyed their world and even began to pick up on the language.
As for Melody and Harmony as main characters. At first, I could not stand Harmony. I was enjoying learning about Melody’s world, and Harmony’s attempts to make Melody “good” were just annoying to me. After awhile though, I understood WHY she acted the way she did. It’s how she grew up and it’s all she knew. As I go to know Harmony more, it was interesting to watch her learn more about the “real world” and see how her beliefs shifted, as she was exposed to more and more.
One of the best parts of this book was the cast of secondary characters. You’ll quickly swoon over Zen, Melody’s best friend. I hope we see more of him in the sequel! Slightly more quirky Jondoe will keep readers entertained. Melody’s pregnancy club friends will make you put yourself in the shoes of these young girls, so desperate to get pregnant. In short, every character in BUMPED shines.
Just a word of caution. While this book is dubbed YA, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for readers under the age of 16. Obviously this book tackles many issues surrounding sex and teenage pregnancy.
Kelly from Stacked makes an excellent point in her review of BUMPED that I agree with wholeheartedly. Kelly thinks that readers have been unfair to BUMPED because they have been comparing it to McCafferty’s beloved Jessica Darling series. Like Kelly said, the Jessica Darling series is contemporary and this book is dystopian; very different. Of course, readers can certainly have their preference of which they like better, but it’s not fair to compare the two.
BUMPED is in stores today, so be sure to get your copy!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.