Bumped (Bumped #1)
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep. Up to 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 Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls' lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
From "New York Times" bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood--in a future that is eerily believable.
Sixteen-year-old Melody's parents have worked hard to make sure she has a prized conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. This means Melody will want for nothing. She believes in this and can't wait until she can be bumped. Everything changes though when her identical twin Harmony shows up at her doorstep. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, who teach that having babies for a profit is a sin.
Things go awry when the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe mistakes Harmony for Melody. Both girls lives are changed, taking both of them on a journey in which they'll never forget.
I totally loved the premise of this story which takes the whole 'what if teens were the only ones to get pregnant' to a new level. Yes, I admit, I'm fascinated with MTV's TEEN MOM, because my own adopted son's birthmother was fourteen when she had him.
I also love the humor in this story. McCafferty does a great job creating a world in the future with such things as pop songs that encourage teens to 'bump', having FunBumps where teens can try on a fake tummy to feel preggie, and even catch phrases like Born to Breed. Very original and unique.
You can feel Melody's insecurity with the others in her school who end up getting pregnant before her and how hard this must be considering she was the first girl at her school to popularize reproductive empowerment. When her twin shows up and starts trying to convert her to Goodside, Melody at first makes fun of her and later starts to have her own doubts about her role in her society.
My favorite character had to be Harmony. Her struggles with her faith and wanting to be more than just a wife gives her depth. I especially like her whole reaction to Jondoe.
Zen also is shown as the best friend who wants to be more but can't as he's considered a 'worm', someone not genetically worthy to make profitable babies. His humor balances Melody's rigidness.
McCafferty's world is one I'd like to revisit. Her take on a serious subject--teen's having babies--is written in such an unique and freshing way that this book is sure to become a favorite.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to 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 Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pegging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty takes place in a dystopian world in which a virus has made everyone over the age of 18 infertile. Now teenage girls are payed to be surrogates. In the world where Bumped takes place being pregnant as a teenager is actually a good thing!
Twin sisters Harmony and Melody (I love the names!) were separated at birth and they’re completely different. Harmony is the goody-two-shoes church girl who wants to take her sister to the Goodside to save her from the sin that “bumping” for pay is, while all Melody wants is to score a good pregnancy deal. A case of mistaken identity, though, could destroy their perfectly-laid plans.
The book started a bit slow for me. There was way too much telling. Telling about Melody’s past, telling about Harmony’s past, etc. And it honestly confused. There are things such as the MiChat that threw me off. I had absolutely no idea what they were! But as I read on I managed to figure it out. After I got past the book’s slow start, I actually began to enjoy it. The pacing became faster, the characters more interesting, and a lot of scandalous things were revealed. I enjoyed the character’s voice, and I loved the terms they used (like “for serious”, “bonerkiller”, and “spermhood”). And the songs the characters they listened to were hilarious!
The book was a good read, but there were some things that bothered me. Close to the end of the book, there was this 11-year-old who was pregnant. This freaked me out! 11-years-old pregnant! And the whole pregnancy obsession was like the Justin Bieber obsession girls have these days. And when I read that one of the characters lost his virginity at the age of fourteen I was aghast. Fourteen! This book was like 16 and Pregnant gone extreme. I clearly see that McCafferty threw all those things in the book to show teenagers, parents, and people in general how bad teenage pregnancy can get! It’s the sneak peek of an eerie future I don’t want to live in!
Another thing I would like to point out (it’s so important that it got its own paragraph) it the sex parties. The cheerclones (cheerleaders) had orgy parties in which they would all “bump” with boys and hope to get pregnant. That right there screams “desperate” and “slutty” to me clear and loud!
Personally, I loved this book. L.O.V.E.D. It was wonderful, fast-paced, and had a great message. I loved the characters, especially Zen, Melody’s best friend. He was sweet, charming, but was a bit too much of a pervert. I liked Jondoe at first, but at the end of the book I didn’t whether to believe him or not. And the end! Oh, it was so brilliant and it left me hanging! I really hope there’s a sequel!
I loved this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. Some might find it too disturbing and even sickening! So read at your own risk! Now I will leave you with one last message: Be safe, don’t do drugs, and use a condom if necessary!
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.
I hate focusing on negatives in books. I think every piece of literature has at least one positive aspect. As I already said, originality is a plus for this book. I also really like the characters Zen and Melody. They were a nice pairing. Zen didn't fit into any of the norms for the new society, which made him instantly likeable. He had a wonderful charismatic personality and a "screw it" attitude. Melody was conflicted. She was destined to be a surrogate, but the idea never set well with her. I liked her whole transformation from follower to leader. If the book only focused on these two characters, I would have loved it. They made the book.
Unfortunately, there were other characters. Harmony, Melody's long lost identical twin, and Johndoe. I could not stand Harmony's character. I thought she was a scheming, double crossing, "godfreaky" witch. I know that's not the way I was supposed to feel about her, but I couldn't help it. The moment she saw Johndoe's image and realized that he was supposed to be the other half of the surrogate for Melody, she decided to counterfeit Melody's identity to try to "convert" the gorgeous piece of man meat. What a load of crap. There was no intention of conversion. Let's call it like it is-- she was a lusty hooch. Honestly. Bah! Needless to say the entire concept behind Harmony ticked me off. With each page that focused on her I became more irritated. I didn't even want to read her chapters! But I knew I had to in order to know what was going on. Then there was Johndoe. He was flat and boring. So disappointed.
The other thing that irked me about this book was the over the top stereotypes. I know with satires (which this book falls into that category) you tend to magnify the stereotypes, but this book fell short. I think that Mel's part in the book was well thought out. Again, I really liked her character. She was conflicted and more believable. But Harmony's role was a waste of my time. Am I really supposed to believe that she justified cheating on her husband (who may or may not be gay-- WTH?!) because she thought she was doing God's work by sleeping with Johndoe and furthering the population? That just made my blood boil. She was so easily swayed. She came across as a self-righteous floozy.
And then there was the ending! What a mess. It was so rushed and ill-suited to the whole book. Harmony instantly knows she's pregnant and realizes she made a mistake by sleeping (several times) with Johndoe. So she goes back to her husband, Ram, and they decide to return to their commune and raise the child as their own in outcast mode. Lame. Oh, and then Johndoe miraculously shows up on Mel's doorstep looking for Harmony because he loves her, but he's too late. So together, he and Mel, set off to find Harmony. At least that's what you're supposed to assume since it never shows what decision Mel and Johndoe reach.
I know a lot of people liked this book. I just wasn't one of them. It bothered me on so many levels. If it only focused on Zen and Mel, it would be much better. If I had a do-over, I wouldn't bother reading this one. I am so thankful it was free on Netgalley, and I didn't spend money on it. I even took it off my R.A.K wishlist. I don't want anyone spending money on this one (on my account).
-A society adapted to new ideas and concepts
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,