Friday, March 25, 2011

BUMPED it up!

I'm really sorry that it isn't April yet, for a few different reasons.  First of all, by the end of April it's going to be almost May, and that's like real spring, not this fake spring stuff that March teases us with.  Also, my husband's birthday is in April, and for once I know what to get him!

But the other reason I'm sorry it's not April yet is because Megan McCafferty's BUMPED doesn't come out until April 26th, and I have no one to gush about it with yet!

Let me set the scene with the Goodreads summary: "When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from."

Crazypants, right?!  I don't know how authors come up with these insanely clever ideas.  I wish I could have sat down at my computer one day and said, "Hey, what if only teenagers could get pregnant?" and then write a super-awesome and creepy dystopian world where the happened.  So I guess what I'm really saying is I secretly wish I was Megan McCafferty.

BUMPED had some of my favorite elements of dystopia, like major insider slang!  I think it's funny that I like this, because the same thing drives me nuts in fantasy.  But I love it in dystopians, and McCafferty has it in abundance.  The overall tone and use of the slang reminded me a little of Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES series, but the abundance of it throughout the text also made me think of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.  Which are, y'know, two v. v. different books.

But in some weird way, that's kind of what BUMPED was.  On the surface, life seems kind of awesome.  Getting to "bump" with attractive dudes for profit (and minus the sleaze)?  Being a surrogate mom in exchange for perks like full college tuition, cars, and celebrity status?  That's all kind of cool, in a weird way.  But then you start to think about what that REALLY means.  How it's not so much cool in a weird way, just a creepy way.  I don't want to spoil anything, but let me say this: If you've read A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, then you know that the slang "covers up" the atrocities that are going on.  BUMPED is kind of like that.

BUMPED was also one of those books--like ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE HUNGER GAMES--that stayed in my mind after I finished it.  I explained the entire plot to my v. patient husband, just so then I could talk to him about it.  (It half-worked.)  I walked around the school I work at and thought, what if?  What if this happened to our society?  What would this school look like?  Especially within the context of girls maturing earlier and earlier...shudder.  It was a creepy train of thought, to say the least.

I think McCafferty's really hit on a pressure point of society with this book.  I'll admit to guiltily watching Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, and I always feel sorry for those girls and their children.  But even creepier than watching Teen Mom is reading BUMPED, where instead of feeling sorry for those girls, it explores what it would be like to envy them.

(I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley and get nothing but your wonderful comments for talking about it.)

So, PLEASE tell me that some of you have read this book, because there are so many more things I want to say about it but I don't want to spoil anything!!  Please talk to me?


  1. I'll have to read this when it comes out. I'm conflicted; it sounds like an interesting comment, but like 16 & Pregnant that you mentioned, I hope it's reflected in the right way. This is not a dis on the book or author AT ALL. I only mean that it seems like teen pregancy is getting a bit exploited in our culture now, and I think some media and hyper-concerned parental watchdog types might jump on this as "another example of..."

    I really liked 16 & Preg when it started b/c I felt like it showed a non-glamourized look at teen parenting. But by the time Teen Mom 2 rolled around, I started seeing the girls on magazine covers and there are tabloid shots of Macy going around with some celebrities. Ugh.

    Your review intrigues me and I want to give this a read for myself :)

  2. No, I haven't read it yet, Sara. But your review makes me want to read it now. I'm a big fan of both A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and UGLIES.

    So I guess I'll have to add this ARC to my TBR pile (lucky for me they're still printing ARCs -- I wouldn't want to read a digital version.)

    Nice review!


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