1. Popularity-everyone wants to be famous, always trying to get the best 'bump'. Like the famous Tocin model, Jondoe. What's in for clothes, and whats the best thing to do for you, to get up there on the MiNet.
2. Money-All actions are taken in consideration with the profit you will gain. From a young age, children are spiced up to earn money and do well. This happens in modern times, like in that show Toddlers and Tiaras (not that I watch that, it is horrible to see how snobby these little girls are). Money is everything, and from the start, most 'parents' in this book aim to achieve.
3. Teen Pregnancy-In this future world, a virus has made anyone over the age of 18, infertile. So young girls become a prized commodity, and are 'asked' to try and bump for older couples who want children. Most of the girls in America, try and bump with the best partner, to earn more money.
I don't really understand WHY, that when you turn 18, that you can't stop having babies. Why is it exactly when you become a young adult, and happens to everyone. I thought that this was a confusing point. Maybe it could of been around 20, so not to look suspicious, with variations from person to person. And why does your reproduction system stop after working for a few years. I know that it was the virus, but why?
I think that the relationships between characters was great. The classic best friend becomes lover with Melody and Zen obviously brewing right from the start. But even that love was different. It was very sexual based, and not much real love. I thought that this was kinda sad, because they might never understand that it is not all about sex.
Bumped is an amazing book, that helps all young adults see the issue with today's society.
-This book makes you consider the problem of teen pregnancy in depth, and may in the future, solve a few issues that might arise.
Bumped tells the story of two identical twins, Melody and Harmony, separated at birth in a dystopian society that prizes fertility above all things. For good reason, as a mysterious virus has cut fertility rates down dramatically all around the world. Most people aren't able to conceive after the age of eighteen, which makes children frighteningly scarce and pregnancy the prized work of the small adolescent population that remains.
Despite the fact that Melody and Harmony look exactly the same, their widely divergent upbringings have turned them into two startlingly different people. Melody has been groomed by her rationalistic parents to be a role model of professional fertility to her peers. Harmony was raised by an isolated religious group whose traditions set her apart for marriage at the age of thirteen. In their own ways, they each rebel internally against the values and expectations of those around them, questioning both society and their own place within it. The challenge becomes whether or not, when the time comes for them to follow the rules, they will do as they've been taught or change the way things are.
In many ways a pretty straightforward dystopian set-up, the book is unique for a number of reasons. For one, it's the most charming and playful dystopian novel I've ever read. Like Feed without any of the despair. And more girls. And pregnancies.
But the best thing about it is the characters. Melody comes across as a pretty typical YA heroine, strong and conflicted, beautiful but without any of the ego that usually comes with that, on the verge of deciding to disrupt the inevitable course of her life with her own free will. She's great to read. Harmony is another matter altogether. A stereotypical fundamentalist whacko, as the chapters unfold, she goes from being more-than-slightly bizarre to becoming utterly fascinating, as the things she has been taught do battle with the things she most deeply cares for. I was very happy to see that the "churchy" background she comes from is never portrayed as any more messed up than the "Otherside," or the secular world, of which Melody is a part. Both are figured as two of a variety of extremes that could plausibly develop out of a society struck barren at the age of eighteen.
I read Bumped on my brand spanking new Kindle Fire, because it was priced rather magically at only 99 cents. I would highly suggest you read it before the release of Thumped, currently scheduled to be hatched on April 24th, 2012.
First, I love dystopia writing like no other. I have a serious problem/obsession with it. That being said, this was totally different than any other dystopian I've read. The quirkiness and comedy was something I've never encountered before and I LOVED it! That's not to say I like one better than the other, but this was such a refreshing change of pace. I enjoyed the world itself as well. The concept of teens needing to have sex and make babies just to keep the world populated really makes you think. If it's a necessity for life when is it wrong?
I really enjoyed the alternating Melody and Harmony chapters. It was nice to get into each characters' head (as always) and it was extra interesting since the two were so seemingly opposite. I especially liked Harmony's point of view. I really enjoyed watching her grow and go through her thinking process. Another great think about the alternating chapters was the way it kept me on the edge of my seat. Something crazy would happen but then we'd switch back to the other girl and I'd get sucked into her problem's all over again. I loved how both Melody's and Harmony's personalities were obvious right from the start and I didn't have to puzzle them out.
Final Thoughts: This is a great starting point and I look forward to the sequel. The characters are strong and the writing is fun. The humor is fantastic and makes for a totally different take on dystopian. This is a must read if your in for a fun, light dystopian that always gets in your head a little and makes you think.
Everyone always tells me I will grow out of my lack of interest in children, which, though I doubt it, is technically possible. Even if I do, though, I will never look on pregnancy as anything which I would desire to experience, so, understandably, the first sentence completely horrified me: "I'm sixteen. Pregnant. And the most important person on the planet." Good lord, save me (only not in Harmony's way either). A world where a teen girl would have to choose between not going to college, pregnancy and a religious commune, which means babies anyway, is completely not okay.
The first half or so of the book I mostly hated. Melody and Harmony's narration was filled with their weird programming, all yay babies or Jesus, which is so not my thing. Then, as they learn more about the world, they start growing into real people with thoughts and opinions. Plus, I always liked Zen. There are some hilarious puns, even if they are baby-centered, such as a RePro doing some "pro boner work" (151). The description of the library made me sad, but at least it still existed. The book also had some great quotes; I share below two of my favorites, one from each twin.
Harmony: "I also know that you can find a verse to support just about any argument, and another verse to shut it down. If it's all the word of God, how can we simply ignore the parts that don't fit our beliefs?" (182)
Melody: "All of our ancestors, and all of our descendants, are coming together to celebrate this kiss, to clap and fist-pump and foot-stomp and shout out loud to the universe YES! YES! A million billion years of YESSSS!" (236)
After an unfortunate start, this turned out to be a really interesting read. I am actually glad this time that I did not look further into the plot, or I would have missed this surprisingly good read.
But back to Megan McCafferty. So I love her. The Jessica Darling series is brilliant, and you absolutely must read it. I'm working on a review for Second Helpings, but in the meantime, please pick up a copy of Bumped and take a look into the culture we are creating.
Unlike Jessica Darling, which is a series focused on a young girl's growth from self-conscious teenager to self-conscious college grad, Bumped is a look into the future, in a world where nearly everyone past the age of eighteen is rendered infertile. This puts a premium on teenaged wombs and sperm. Melody is one such girl, and her parents are so determined to market her uterus that they sign her up for all manner of enrichment, whether academic, athletic or musical.
"They predicted sixteen years ago, almost before anyone else, that girls like me - prettier, smarter, healthier - would be the world's most invaluable resource. And like any rare commodity in an unregulated marketplace, prices for our services would skyrocket. It wasn't about the money, really, not at first. It was about status. Who had it, and who didn't. And my parents did everything in their power to make sure I had it."
Chilling, isn't it? Melody's parents' dream is to pair her up with Jondoe, the Hottie McHot of the male procreators. And then Melody discovers that she has an identical twin named Harmony, who lives in a Sister Wives sort of sect and is bequeathed to fellow sect member, Ram. Harmony comes to see Melody, hoping to convince her to forsake her womb-for-rent and find the Lord. But Harmony meets Jondoe, and, well, things don't quite go as planned.
Here's the thing about Bumped: it took me a while to get into it. I think I was put off by the kitschy slang. When I loan this out to my students, I tell them to just get past the first third, and then they will get sucked into the story. Sometimes the "for serious" and "breedier" stuff gets in the way of McCafferty's storytelling, and that's unfortunate, because this is a very engrossing, captivating story.
Bumped satirizes our society's fascination and apparent promotion of teenage pregnancies. How many times have you seen a teen mom on the cover of People? Those girls make more money a year than I do, and I'm a Masters educated teacher. There is something deeply perverted about that, and McCafferty attacks it in this book. She also goes after religious mind control, thumbing her nose at those who deem themselves better than the rest of us.
As Melody and Harmony get to know each other, they come to understand what each stands for and believes in. There are romantic complications - Harmony takes a liking to Jondoe, and Melody's budding romance with Zen is constantly checked by her parents' dogged determination to mate her with Jondoe.
This is a thoughtful book, and it will make you want to talk about it for hours. Can something like this happen? Has something like this already happened, minus the virus?
Melody and Harmony are no Jessica Darling, but that's okay. They are entertaining and interesting in their own right.
I was soo looking forward to this book, and it was different than I
expected. Not bad, just different. I really liked the plot, though. I
hope Megan McCafferty writes more of these books. The whole
virus-causing-sterility-and-teens-have-to-have-the-babies thing was so
cool and so fun to read about. I especially liked it is because I want
to be a Physician's Assistant for obstetrics, and I'm a teenager, so it
was fun living in that world where all the teenage girls were pregnant,
and proud. In fact, it was even considered pretty to be pregnant in that
society, and you could buy fake bellies at the mall.
The two main characters, Harmony and Melody, were also really
different. They were identical twins, but they were complete opposites. I
really liked Melody, but oh my god was Harmony annoying. I kind of
dreaded reading her point of view every other chapter because she got on
my nerves so much. It was a good book, but not a very exciting one, as far as dystopians
go. It was more like a contemporary within another world. It only took
me a few hours to read this book from start to finish; it was a fun,
WOW&& this is such a different book. I cant imagine what life would actually be like if we had to rely on girls under 18 to become pregnant and then give the baby to a family who wants a baby.
Bumped is about 2, 16 year old twin sisters, separated at birth and have just reunited. Harmony is very religious and doesnt believe in being bumped. She believes that its never ok to become pregnant outside of marriage. Every day she wears a veil and clothes that cover up every inch of skin. Then she finds out she has a twin sister and she leaves home and goes to find her.
Melody is the complete opposite of Harmony, she believes in being bumped and she wants to have become pregnant, but she needs to find the right one. Her parents have paid a lot of money to hire someone to find the perfect match that would make a beautiful baby.
Once Harmony shows up on Melodys doorstep both their lives dramatically changed.
I want to say that I liked this as much as I wanted to but I didnt. I think I was too hyped up for the book. But I honestly did like it. I gave it 4/5 stars.
I loved how it switched from melodys to Harmonys POV each chapter, I felt a little annoyed by the way Harmony would try to shove God down everyones throats but I soon came to know a little bit more about Harmony and I understood her better. She was raised that way and if raised differently she wouldnt be the person she was.
I absolutely love the plot of this book, its different than anything I have ever read and it really shines a light on teen pregnancy. Although it kind of seemed like it, Bumped does not condone teenage pregnancy.
Bumped was a fantastic read and once I started I couldnt get enough of it. I cant wait for the sequel of this book to come out. I have a feeling Im going to enjoy it a lot more than this one.
First off I had so many different opinions about the book when I started reading it. I wanted to hate it cause i didnt like the fact that teenagers had to be pregnant in order for human population to continue. Then I hated it cause they didn't hav a choice which sucked. But believe me the book got better way better towards the middle of the book the characters were warming me up to a bigger ending. At the end everything just fit into place it started making sense why harmony visited melody. Who was in love with who. I especially liked the fact that melody was not forced into anything(sorry i will try not to give away to much of the book) Harmony's character changed towards the end and she realized probably things aren't always perfect:)