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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Pages: 323
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: NetGalley

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 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. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Bumped is...well...it's different. It's nothing like any young adult book I've every read and it's really nothing like current dystopian books flooding the market these days. And...well...I'm not sure this is a good thing.

In Bumped, the entire human race as lost it's power to procreate after the age of 18. No reason for this is given, aside from it being a virus so that was a little frustrating. For me, the best type of dystopian stories are ones with a believable and solid catalyst. Something that turns the world as we know it on it's head. And while the world of Bumped is surely turned very upside down...there is a lot to be desired in the dystopian department - for me at least.

Another reason I never really warmed up to this book was the overall loveless and degrading nature of the society portrayed. So humans can't conceive after the age of 18. Ok. But to go from that to girls as young as 14 'bumping' for profit? For such things as amateur (will sleep with anyone to get preggers) to professional (will only have sex under contract) 'bumpers'? For there to exist absolutely no room for the love a mother should feels for her child -- one she 'bumped' herself or bought? And I'm still unsure if any teenagers are allowed to keep their babies. It seems like every child is bought and sold - no matter what. Whoa. Feel like we missed a few crucial societal, civil and human degradations to drop us down to this level of depravity.

I've seen reviews that bash Bumped for a lot of the same reasons I've listed above. The bashing, I do believe is unwarranted. While, I did not enjoy this book, I think I get what the author was trying to say. I mean, everything (EVERYTHING) is so over the top, in your face, sex sex sex sex sex! That is has to be satire? Right? I honestly don't know but, I don't think Bumped was written to offend  - I say this because I do believe a lot of people will find Bumped very offensive. And, have to say, it's a little hard to argue for Bumped when it contains such dialog as this: (taken from finished copy)
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with humping when you're bumping. Raimundo and I went at it like crazy for the full forty-two and my first pregg didn't come out all cock-knocked in the head."
Yeah…most of the book isn't this bad but yeah…

Final verdict:
So, was Bumped for me? No. And not because I was offended by it's overly sexual and degrading content. I didn't enjoy Bumped because it wasn't a believable dystopian story. I never connected with any of the characters and the added addition of the religious elements really just didn't work for the story -- for me.

Would you enjoy Bumped? Go into it with an open mind but if you don't enjoy reading about sex then do not pick this one up.  AND - the story doesn't end. No cliff hanger really - felt more like I was missing the last page - or chapter. I read an e-galley but I don't think the finished version is any different - someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Overall Rating:
2 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
Thumped (2012)

Linkage Love:
Author's Website


  1. Wow, great honest review. I have heard only good things about this book, but I am glad to see that it can be over the top for some, and that it might not be what I am expecting. I still definitely want to read this though. Awesome review Emily :)

  2. Ah sorry it wasn't that good for you! I've heard pretty much similar reviews like yours about this one. Too bad - I always thought Megan McCafferty was a unique writer!

  3. Aw that's unfortunate. I have Bumped on my TBR pile and was excited to read it, but now I think I might put it off a little longer.

  4. It wasn't the details of the story that bothered me as much at the way it was written. The frequent switching between narrators was very distracting and made it hard for me to get to know either one of the girls. Plus the characters kept using these ridiculous slang terms but doesn't explain what they mean. But I do think Bumped could be a good stepping stone for YA readers to some of the more sophisticated dystopiac literature out there, such as The Handmaiden's Tale, which has many similarities.

  5. I have a feeling I would feel much the same way as you did here. It was written as satire, but from all the reviews I've read of this, both positive and negative, I feel like it's one that could have been done better... I probably won't read it, just because I'm pretty sure I'd be annoyed...


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