Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Book Review - Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Publisher: HarperCollins (US)/ Corgi Childrens Books (UK)
Release Date: 4th August 2011 (UK)
Genre: Young Adult

Copy from Netgalley

Summary (Amazon):

A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for ‘conception contracts’ with the prettiest, healthiest and cleverest girls - cash, college tuition and liposuction in exchange for a baby.

Sixteen-year-old Melody is gorgeous, athletic and has perfect grades, and has scored an amazing contract with a rich couple. And she’s been matched with one of the most desirable ‘bumping’ partners in the world - the incredibly hot, genetically flawless Jondoe.

But Melody's luck is about to run out. She discovers she has a sister - an identical twin, Harmony, who has grown up in a religious community opposed to the idea of ‘pregging’. Harmony believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful plans. Melody doesn’t have time for this – she can’t wait to meet Jondoe and seal the deal. But when he arrives and mistakes Harmony for Melody, everyone’s carefully-laid plans are swept out of control – and Melody and Harmony are about to realise they have so much more than just DNA in common. 

 I’ve never been a huge fan of Dystopian novels, but recently I’ve been giving them a fair chance and enjoying most of them. However, I think I’ve gone one Dystopian novel too far and not given myself a bit of break from them before I started reading Bumped because although this is a good book, I didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t wrap my head around babies being products that you buy, as well as the teenage bodies that carry the babies.

 The story in general I liked and it was readable, but I couldn’t relate to the characters. None of them. I think it had something to do with the future McCafferty had set up. I could get to grips with Harmony and her way of life because it all seemed to be very similar to the Amish way of living. But Melody and her life I couldn’t understand. I may as well have been reading the slang from another region in my country because I didn’t ‘get’ the futuristic slang. I also couldn’t see in my head all the futuristic gadgets. It was all too much.

 On the other hand, all that I’ve had an issue with is what makes this a well-written book with many layers. A whole new world has been set up and the whole concept being alien to me would be like trying to get someone from the 18th or 19th century reading a contemporary novel of our time. They wouldn’t be able to even fathom some of our technology or see it in their imagination. So if you go into the novel imagining that this is the future in a century or two, then you can’t go far wrong in trying to understand Melody and Harmony’s ways of life.

 The last hundred pages were the best bit of the story for me. This is where the twins really showed who they are, what they want in life and how they really think. Before that, they’re flat. Some of the small twists were predictable, but still makes me want to know what will happen to everyone and how everything will work out for them.

 Overall, the book was enjoyable enough if you can get into the swing of the futuristic world. Now that the twins story and characteristics have been set up, I look forward to the next novel more. I’d recommend this to anyone who loves Dystopian novels and are addicted to 16 & Pregnant.

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