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April 27, 2011

Review: Bumped

2011 Books

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Genre: Young adult
Pages: 336
Grade: 88

Look, it's another book that comes out this week! I feel so on top of things! (If I were actually on top of things, I've had posted these reviews a week ago, but whatever.)

Bumped takes place in a dystopia (so big right now!) in which almost everyone becomes sterile around age 18, so teenagers are encouraged to have children and give them up for adoption to older couples - for pay. 16-year-old Melody has been raised by her scientist parents to be the perfect surrogate, but while she's waiting to be matched up with a partner, she discovers that she has a twin, Harmony, who was raised in a strict religious community, where teens get married young and they think pregnancy for profit is a sin. Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep, everything changes for both of them and they have to figure out what to believe.

I thought the premise of this novel was fascinating, but it didn't quite live up to my hopes. The take on the issues was less complex than I'd hoped, and the answers provided were somewhat facile or, at times, obvious - extremism in any direction tends to end badly! Really! We had no idea! That said, it was fast-paced and compulsively readable, and McCafferty clearly had a lot of fun creating this world. It's drawn in incredible detail, which is great most of the time, but occasionally the extensive invented vocabulary throws the reader out of the story - at several points I stopped to think "What does that mean? Oh, that's clever!" rather than just reading. I must also admit that I didn't particularly warm to either Melody or Harmony, but I adored Melody's best friend Zen, who is obviously in love with her but is too short to make an acceptable partner in her conception contract. He's funny and smart and insightful and I might just have to elevate him to Literary Boyfriend status.

All that said: The ending of Bumped suggested that there will be at least one sequel, and I'm eager to read it. And I guess that's what matters, in the end.

Posted by Kat at April 27, 2011 07:18 AM
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