Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

There is no way I could rate this. I'm having a hard time even thinking of what to write in my review. I'll start with a summary. A virus has rendered almost everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, leaving a world where adults who want to be parents have to pay teens to conceive, carry and deliver their child. Yes, conceive. I'll get back to that later on. Melody and Harmony are sixteen-year-old identical twins who were adopted out into very different families and lives. Melody was raised in a town called Otherside by parents who had an idea of what was coming and because of that, have been grooming Melody to be a RePro. That means she has a rep to find her a conception partner and adoptive parents. Harmony, on the other hand, was adopted into a religious Amish-like family in a community called Goodside set apart from the rest. When Harmony finds out about Melody, she sets off to try to convert her and bring her home with her.

I had a hard time getting into it at first, and I'm seeing other reviewers did as well. If you think usage of slang in our world is a bit much, just wait until you read Bumped. RePro, Fertilicious, Pro/Am Pregg Alliance, etc. Once I got used to it, some of it made me chuckle.

This book is being classified by many as a dystopian novel, but I just don't know about that. No wars, no natural disasters, and no violations of civil rights. In my opinion, it's a light dystopia. It does have the disease threatening to eradicate humankind like many other dystopias do, but the book is so light-hearted it's hard to remember that. It's mild because the society has found a way around it, and hardly anyone except the religious folks minds it.

This is a dystopia dealing with reproductive rights, and because of that I liked it. It had ironic political snubs like "it's shocking to think that the government would try to stick its nose in our ladyparts." My absolute favorite was "We shouldn't be using hardworking American taxpayer dollars to pay Americans to pregg because pregging is patriotic and America is the greatest nation under God, so God bless America and Americans," a quote by the Fox and Freedom Party. You've got to love the snub on Fox. Well, you don't have to. But I do. I think I'm drawn to dystopias about reproductive rights because that's it's something I'm passionate about, and I'm also in the having kids of my own phase. It's become so important to me that women have the same choices I've been able to have about when to have a child, how to have that child, etc.

At that same time, I don't know if a teenager would get the same things from it that I did. They're more in the dating and falling in love phase, so I think dystopias like Delirium and Matched are good for them. Teenage pregnancy is obviously glamorized in Bumped. It would have to be in a world where only teens can get pregnant. Because of how teen pregnancy is treated, I would hesitate to recommend this to teens, especially younger ones. Plus, Harmony has a little bit of a Margery Kempe moment, and while awkward for everyone, I know it would be worse for a teen.

I will say the book was just as thought-provoking as other dystopias, even without all the tragedy.

P.S. This book is definitely the first of a trilogy or series. By the way, what is up with that?! Being a trilogy is not a requirement for dystopia!! And yes, I know I mentioned this in my review of Delirium, and I probably will again (I'm reading another first book in another dystopia trilogy).

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the advance copy.

1 comment:

  1. Humm... I've been wondering about this book. I've only seen one other review & it sounds like you guys had similar opinions of it.

    The trilogy thing is OUT OF CONTROL these day. I can see why they do it... but REALLY! I've read some amazing dystopics that were "stand alones": Unwind, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, The Giver etc.