Review: Bumped

May 6, 2011 at 10:30 am (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , )

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Pages: 336, hardcover

ISBN: 9780061962745

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: April 26th, 2011

Genre: YA / romance / dystopian / satire

Source: galley from the publisher

Premise:

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. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

So, this is supposed to be a satirical piece regarding teen sexuality, where teens are both encouraged (for example, Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant) or chstised for having sex in the first place. This is the first thing that interests me. I’m a fan of satirical pieces regarding modern society.

I’d heard that the biggest problem that most people had with this book was the slang. And now I see what they meant. This book is almost impossible to understand at the beginning, and it hardly gets any easier from there. There are all these made up words, and abstract definitions of preexisting words.
There is a part where Harmony says “I’m able to understand approximately one in every five or so words that came out of Zach’s mouth.” I laughed so hard, and had to agree with that, but I’m so thankful that there were a few explanations for some of the terms–even if they come several pages after the word is first used.

The differing viewpoints of the sisters was annoying at the beginning. The changed constantly, were so short that sometimes they were even a page long at times. While they had very unique and differing voices, it was still hard to keep up with.
Harmony, I felt, sounded forced. She overused saying the same religious phrases, such as “Oh my grace!”, and the repetition didn’t sound realistic, just fake and overused. Melody, on the other hand, actually felt fairly realistic, even with the overabundance of slang. Her intentions and actions just felt right for someone in her position.

I didn’t like Harmony at all. For someone who tried to do so good in the eyes of God, she really turned into this massive contradiction. People with beliefs that ingrained into their mind don’t just change in an instant. In fact, even the average person doesn’t change so drastically. Harmony was the cause of all the conflict, and I couldn’t understand her actions, nor could I understand why Melody was so calm about it.

I found it bad that the entire basis of the story centered around the mistrust and secrets between two twin sisters. As a result, I had a hard time feeling the relationship between the two sisters grow, and, I couldn’t see much individual character growth. I suppose most of that came from the lack of sympathy I had for them, I simply couldn’t relate to them in any way.

Overall, this story didn’t stand out much to me. It felt bland and really fell short for me. I was rather disappointed, and think I might not bother with this growing trend of dystopians. The biggest disappointment was the language. How is anyone supposed to enjoy a book if they can’t understand it?

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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2 Comments

  1. The Book Wurrm said,

    Geh. I have been hearing not so good reviews about this one. And honestly, this whole “girls have to get pregnant” stuff has been done by Margaret Atwood in a way that nullifies any other attempt to actually tell the same story in a different way. Of course the difference is that a lot of people haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale because if they had, I don’t see how they could think these books were anything but pale reflections of the original. Sorry about the rant. But I seriously don’t like too much slang in the books I read. I get enough of that in real life. Sorry about the rant. Great review.

    • nlmars said,

      I still haven’t read any Margaret Atwood. I really should get on that. But the recent influx of books that deal with the idea that girls have to get pregnant don’t seem to have any real explanation as to why society is like that. It’s a bother.
      And yeah, I hate excessive slang. It really doesn’t work for me.
      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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