6 June 2012

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 26th 2011
Series: Bumped #1
Source: Hardcover (borrowed)
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Summary: In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, 16-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

Review: This book was 16 and Pregnant on drugs. That show is my guilty pleasure but if the world would honestly come to a point where teenagers see babies as a commercial product, I think we should all kill ourselves right now. Humanity at its worse, I would say. 

I usually don't give my own summary in my reviews but since the one provided by Goodreads is so short I thought I would give one that is non-spoilery. Basically there comes a time in 2036 where a virus spreads and women and men are only fertile between the ages of 16-18. There is a small portion of the population that is not affected by this and they are fertile well into their 20s and 30s, this is known as the Goodside and people there are extremely religious. Melody (or was it Harmony?) is paid to give birth while Harmony comes over to the Otherside from the Goodside to try and convince Melody to get married to someone from the Goodside before having babies/having sex.

A note of caution: I may have mixed up the names of the twins. Sorry about that but the constant back and forth jump of the characters in the book really doesn't help the cheesy name situation. 
Let me just get to the bad stuff first:
1) WHAT IS WITH THE SLANG??? breedy, MiNet, neggy, renegger, terminate. There wasn't a glossary to explain anything and these few made-up words were used constantly, it was really frustrating!
2) The names are terrible. Harmony and Melody just argh! And what is with the name Johndoe. The teenage girls were calling their babies Burritos, Perfect and I can't remember what else. Terrible cringe-worthy names here.
3) The sex jokes were too much. Its weird hearing such crude jokes from 16 year olds. Also, when Johndoe started talking about how having sex is his calling in life I just about fainted. I am not the least bit religious but honestly even I feel insulted by that. Another thing, teenagers having mass orgies. WHATTTT? Ever heard of STDs and HIVs? Apparently it doesn't matter, as long as you get pregnant.
4) There was a serious lack of details. Most books have the opposite problem where we get information dumping but not for Bumped. World building in general was okay but when it came to the details I had to guess most of it. Not fun. What is MiVu or MiNet? What are the tests the surrogettes have to go through? Where did the virus come from? How does it work?

So at this point Bumped would only get 1 star but there were a couple of redeeming points:
Firstly, I really liked how the religious aspect of Bumped was DISCUSSED not just merely regurgitated from the Bible. I felt like I was learning about the bible rather than being forced to believe in it, it is quite refreshing especially after the horrible experience with Angel Eyes. I really enjoyed reading about Harmony's naivety about the world outside of the Goodside/church and see her discovering about the other possibilities of life.
Secondly, Melody and Zen are so cute together and overall I loved the fact that all the characters grew as the story progressed.

It is really a pity that there were more downs than ups. The premise had so much potential and Megan McCafferty ruined it by being so over the top and tried too hard to make it satirical. The story line was so weak and the only person I really connected with was Zen. I didn't care about the twins or that guy named Johndoe.

I wouldn't be reading the sequel.

My rating:
I wouldn't recommend this to any young teens as it may send the wrong message.
Recommended for anyone curious about this book (?) I would honestly not recommend this to anyone that doesn't know about it. But go ahead if it has been on your TBR list, it really doesn't take that long.


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