Pages: 323 Copyright: 2011
The blurb: “A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for “conception contracts” with the prettiest, healthiest, and smartest girls—cash, college tuition, and liposuction in exchange for a baby.
Sixteen-year-old Melody has scored a record-breaking contract with a rich couple. And she’s been matched with one of the hottest “bumping” partners in the world—the genetically flawless Jondoe.
But her luck is about to run out.
She discovers she has a sister—an identical twin. Harmony has grown up in a strict religious community and believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful intentions. All Melody wants is to meet Jondoe and seal the deal—but when a case of mistaken identity destroys everyone’s carefully laid plans, Melody and Harmony realize they have much more than DNA in common.”
The average YA reader knows Megan McCafferty as the author of the Jessica Darling series. But when I picked up Bumped in a beach-town bookstore during a North Carolina vacation to supplement my book supply for the long trip home, I had never heard of her. So this book was actually my first experience with her work. I’ve since read and loved Jessica, and Bumped is definitely very different. That was probably obvious from the summary alone. However, I’m happy to say that it brings much of the same magnetic wit and easy style.
Speculative future-of-our-society plots can be repetitive or hackneyed, but the world of Bumped is memorable. It doesn’t just rely on the surface-level “teens are having babies” premise— McCafferty really goes all the way with it, thinking out the new norms, attitudes, and figures of speech that would go along with that. “Pretty” becomes “reproaesthetical”. Baby bumps become attractive, and pre-teen girls wear fake bellies instead of gratuitous eyeliner. Chips are advertised with “now 20% more folic acid!” If you’re wondering what would happen if teen pregnancy really came into style, this book is a solid reference.
Melody and Harmony, though twins, were very distinct from each other. Their meeting completely changes both of their lives, and that was very interesting to watch. The supporting characters were no less strong. It was a great cast.
Bumped lays a solid foundation of a fascinating setting and then brings it to life with juicy, unpredictable characters and intrigue-filled, page turning human stories. I was never sure what was around the corner, and could never guess how everything would shake out, but I wanted to find out. There was romance in the story, but it was just one component woven in proportionately, so this book should appeal to a wide audience, unlike many YA books, which are essentially love stories (although we know I love a good love story). Bumped is part of a pair of books; the sequel is called Thumped.