Monday, April 18, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped is Megan McCafferty's first YA novel.  It follows twin sisters, Melody and Harmony in their future world where only teens like them can have children.  In this world, a disease causes that causes sterilization in everyone between the ages of 18 and 24 has ravaged the world, leaving teenagers the most important people in the world.  Adults have to hire teenagers to "bump" or reproduce for them.  There is no in vitro fertilization or test tube babies.  Condoms and other forms of birth control are outlawed.  Teens are fed foods full of folic acid and vitamins and are constantly reminded that they are reproaesthetic.

Harmony and Melody are living in this strange world but their lives could not be more different.  Harmony has been raised in Goodside, a religious community that is separate from the rest of the world.  At Goodside, Harmony has been raised her whole life to be a wife and mother.  She believes that it is her calling to "save" her sister, no matter the cost.  Melody has made a very lucrative bump contract with a couple who has been trying to find the perfect "sperm" for her egg.  As Melody and Harmony spend time together, they will learn that they have more in common than they thought.

This book was one that I'd been looking forward to.  I did enjoy the book overall but it took about one third of the book for me to get really into it.  It felt like I was dumped into the middle of something and there is a lot of terminology and slang to learn as the story begins.  There are some questions about the premise but I think that is easily ignored.  Do you REALLY want to know the HOW/WHY of the sterilization disease?  I know I don't.  I enjoyed the book for a great read that felt real and that really made me think.  I love the 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom shows.  I had my eldest son while I was a senior in college, I was barely 21.  It's no 16 and pregnant but it wasn't every one's definition of normal.  In times past, teen brides and mothers were the norm but to most of us nowadays, it's just plain creepy.  Bumped makes us think and rethink what we view as acceptable or normal.  In their world, is it fair and right that these teens sell themselves and their babies?  What if they want to have children later, when they get married?  Does the glorification of teen pregnancy make you a little sick?  Do you think it should?  How else should babies come into this future world?  This book is funny, emotional and thought provoking and I think it is meant to be.  I would recommend this for older teens merely for the content and language.  The talk of sex is pretty cavalier and younger teens may not really grasp the full message of this book.  I hope you'll give this book a try!  You can find out more about Megan McCafferty on her website and you can follow her on Twitter.

Bumped earns 3 Fairies for being a thought provoking read.

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