I’ve seen this book reviewed on several blogs and I’ve been really excited to read it. I finally got a copy and I was super pumped to crack it open on my vacation. I know this doesn’t leave much room in the “what did she think of it?” category, but I’ve got to say, I was generally pleased with the book and am looking forward to its sequel, Thumped.
Bumped is set in the future use, in a dystopian world where the majority of the adult female population can no longer conceive, naturally or “peri pregg.” As a result, the uterus’s (I have no idea if that’s the proper plural of uterus!) of teenage girls are in high demand, and those girls can basically sell their wombs and their preggs for hefty sums of money.
Meldoy is one of those girls who agrees to be a surrogate, but she hasn’t actually gotten pregnant yet. She’s waiting for her Surrogate family to find the perfect male. While she is waiting, Melody, adopted shortly after birth, discovers that she has an identical twin sister named Harmony, and one day, Harmony, who is deeply religious and lives in Goodside, appears on Melody’s doorstep. What ensues is a look one author’s apparent critique of teen pregnancy.
I thought this was a really well-done novel, and it struck me as really poignant because of how teen pregnancy is showcased in the media these days with shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom — shows that essentially glamourize teen pregnancy. It’s especially interesting because of the very opposite natures of Melody and Harmony, and I think it’s easy to say we see those extremes so clearly reflected in our own society. McCafferty’s novel is a good exploration of a current hot topic, and I’m interested to see how the series unfolds.
My biggest issue with this book is its intended audience. It’s not a hard book to read, even with the lingo that’s created specifically for this setting. Words like “pregg,” “bumped,” and “thumped” are terms readers must figure out on their own, but given the multitude of contextual clues, it’s pretty easy. The writing level isn’t much more advanced than junior higher or maybe freshman year of high school, but content-wise, I think this is an iffy books for preteens and younger teenagers. While it’s not explicit or graphic in it’s talk of sex, it’s a book whose plot revolves around kids having sex. I’m not pro-censorship by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d suggest to anyone thinking this might be a great young adult novel: read it on your own first, and use your own judgement, especially if you have precocious readers because while it could be easily read by a ten- or eleven-year-old with advanced reading skills, it’s totally not appropriate for that age group.