Book Review of "Bumped"

BumpedBumped by Megan McCafferty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“What would happen if girls were encouraged to have sex? To get pregnant?” This is the question that the author, Megan McCafferty, asked and then explored in her new book Bumped. I was very much looking forward to reading her next book. I really liked the Jessica Darling series, probably more in the end because of Marcus Flutie, but regardless, she sucked me in! I thought this book had an interesting premise before I started reading it. There is a crazy teen mom phenom happening in this country as McCafferty notes. It started with teen celebrities getting pregnant and now we have shows on MTV about teen moms. Teen pregnancy has definitely become glorified. As a new mom myself I could not even fathom dealing with this when I was a junior in high school. I love my baby, but man, does he wear me out!

Bumped follows identical twin sisters, Melody and Harmony, who are sixteen years old. They were separated at birth and have grown up in two completely different cultures. Melody was adopted by a couple of professors and lives in New York city. Her parents, economics professors, predicted what would be happening in their culture by the time their daughter was 16. They provided her with all the best tutors and coaches, hoping that their daughter would be super intelligent, beautiful and athletic. All leading her to be one of the most sought after surrogates. Harmony of the other hand was raised in a fundamentalist compound in Pennsylvania, where you do your chores everyday, seek after God, and basically do what you are told with no questions asked. There are rules all over the place that she must follow. Inside her culture, modesty and purity are valued where materialist things are not. Both have high expectations placed upon them.

In their current society, there is a virus going around the population that wipes out people’s fertility to the point that only teenagers can get pregnant. Melody’s parents predicted this would be the case and once she came of age, they sought out the highest deal for her. People who are unable to have children start paying teenagers that they think will represent them the best in their future children. They pay the teens to have sex and get pregnant. The couple get paid once they deliver the baby to the couple.

Harmony finds herself feeling out of place on her compound. She is forced into a marriage with a boy who is also questioning their beliefs and neither of them love the other. Harmony then flees in order to find her twin so she can help Melody find God and realize the error of being paid to have sex.

While the book had an interesting premise, I found myself super uncomfortable while I was reading it. Maybe that was the point though. Two extremes taken all the way to the extreme. I did get annoyed how their vernacular was infused with sex and pregnancy terms. It started out as clever and tongue-in-cheek, but it eventually became unfunny.

I have to say that by the ending, I was definitely sucked into the story and rooting for the twins. I think Zen reminded me a little of Marcus. :) Mel and Harmony had started to find their way and what they would and would not stand for. Which is the point of being a teenager. I look forward to seeing how their story ends in the next book.

Thank You NetGalley for this read!

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