Author: Megan McCafferty
Format: ebook (Netgalley)
Pages: Harper Collins
Genre: Dyslit, Young Adult
Published: 26 April 2011
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until 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 religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her 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.
Melody and Harmony are twins. Seperated at birth, one raised in The Church, the other raised to in a society where pregnant teens are not only the norm but essential. The world has been infected by a virus which causes three quarters of all people to become infertile somewhere between the age of eighteen and twenty. Because of this teen surrogates are the only way the population can survive. Melody has been groomed by her parents to become a pro-surrogate, at sixteen she should be on her second pregnancy but she's still waiting for her sponsors to pick their sperm donor. Harmony lives in a closed religious society where girls generally get married at thirteen but finding her twin gives her a chance to escape.
Bumped manages to be both funny and thought provoking at the same time. Fashion accessories of 'funbumps' being worn by pre-teens is amusing at first but then slightly scary in a "what if it happened" kind of way. The book also manages to neither glamorise or preach about teen pregnancy.
The characters in the book are likeable with both of the twins having very different personalities (and there's also an element of twin confusion which is always fun). A few of Melody's friends were a little on the 'blah' side, in that I didn't feel like I really knew them but her best friend, Zen, was possibly one of my favourite characters in the book. Intelligent and funny, Zen is left out of being potential donor due to having "insufficient verticality" (being short). He's a really loveable character and at times I felt sorry for him as he's quite clearly completely in love with Melody.
Bumped is dystopian lit with a slightly unusual angle. It's set in the near-future and isn't all that far from today's society, with shows such as Teen Mom being popular at the moment. The only other major difference being the MiNet which everyone is constantly attached to. Basically it's the internet, seen through special contact lenses, with a huge emphasis on social networking. Everyone knows exactly what every one else is doing and where they are. Again, not too unbelievable compared to what we have today. The main difference with Bumped and other Dyslit is that this is a society that's developed out of necessity, not because the government says so.
A fun read which also provokes thought, I'd recommend this book more for older teens as there is obviously some sexual references (although nothing explicit).