Bumped by Megan McCafferty describes a world where everyone over the age of 18 is infertile and teen pregnancy is on the rise. Not just on the rise but encouraged, celebrated and even paid for. If a teenage girl is smart, pretty, and healthy enough she can be paid to get pregnant, while less special girls can either volunteer to get pregnant for a deserving couple, or get paid after the pregnancy when the baby is pretty much auctioned off.
This book was really strange and so creepy. Imagine MTV’s shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom set in a dystopian future and you basically have Bumped. While it’s a fascinating concept (what WOULD we do if adults could no longer conceive?) it makes for an incredibly unsettling book.
The biggest drawback to this novel was the language. There’s lots of slang and it really took me out of the story as I translated the words on the page into something that made sense to me. Bumped is set in the future and they’re definitely using a different dialect of English than what we currently use. I understand this, and the use of some futuristic slang would set the tone for the book but McCafferty goes way overboard with it. It’s not completely confusing but it does take away from the story.
I liked the idea of having twins separated at birth as the main characters. It sounds cheesy but it works well as it allows us to explore two very different lives and journeys, and gives Melody and Harmony (as well as the readers) the chance to see what their life could have been like if they had been adopted by the other set of parents.
Other than Melody and Harmony, I found many of the other characters to be very annoying. They were all very flat and one dimensional and did not give me any real reasons to care about them, or reasons to enjoy reading about them. There is a sequel to Bumped, called Thumped, coming out April 24, 2012 so hopefully the characters and story will only improve.
Overall I would give Bumped by Megan McCafferty a 3/5. A book that has a fascinating concept but the quality of the writing and the plot isn’t consistently good.