Bumped has plenty to say about reproductive rights and girls’ place in society.
Bumped is wonderfully original, with an extremely well thought-out dystopian society...McCafferty’s future echoes just enough of current events to seem chillingly possible.
Megan McCafferty has conceived a hilarious, touching, truly original novel, told in her trademark, spot-on voice. Readers of every age will delight in this new arrival.
McCafferty proves that dystopias don't have to be dreary to be provocative. A virus has left everyone over the age of 18 unable to procreate, making teenagers the only viable "breeders" and spawning a pregnancy-obsessed future society. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of two 16-year-old twins, separated at birth: deeply religious Harmony, raised in god-fearing, vaguely Amish "Goodside," and Melody, whose adoptive parents have been crafting her into the perfect Reproduction Professional or RePro, sought by wealthy, barren couples. McCafferty (the Jessica Darling series) has enormous fun in her first YA novel: tweens, aka "nubie-pubies," try on Preggerz FunBumps, designed to mimic pregnancy; expectant teens munch on Folato Chips for folic acid boosts; and slang like "fertilicious," "terminal," and "barren" is used with abandon. Yet she also raises challenging questions about individuality and morality. There's a predictable though entertaining identity switch, and readers must wait until the next book to learn if these girls end up with the lives (and guys) they want. The book's carefree sexuality and exploitation makes it uncomfortable, scandalous, and not easily forgotten—there's little doubt that's exactly what McCafferty is going for. Ages 14–up. (May)
BUMPED is brilliant, innovative, and slightly terrifying. Megan McCafferty delivers!
After an inexplicable virus renders anyone 18 years and older infertile, bumping, the practice of arranging pregnancies with teen surrogates, becomes a big business. Sixteen-year-olds Melody and Harmony, identical twins separated at birth, couldn't be more different from each other. Melody has one of the most talked about bumping contracts, but she is reluctant to fulfill it, even when her bumping agent arranges for a notoriously hot stud to impregnate her. Harmony, raised in the super-religious community of Goodside, is dead set on preventing Melody from "bumping" for profit, but she is also wrestling with conflicting thoughts about faith, love, and marriage. Like Julia Karr's XVI (2011), Bumped has plenty to say about reproductive rights and girls' place in society, but McCafferty's touch is a bit lighter. McCafferty sometimes dodges terrifying truths, such as the implications of teens who sell their babies on an auction block, but she will likely develop these ethical and moral dilemmas in the planned sequel.
— Courtney Jones
Gr 9 Up—In the near future, a virus renders almost everyone over the age of 18 infertile. Teen pregnancies are not only acceptable, but also vital to humanity's survival. Sixteen-year-old Melody and her parents, like many others, have decided to go pro with her fertility. She has an agent, Lib, who has secured her a deal including a six-figure payday, full college tuition, a car, and a postpartum tummy tuck. Not everything is perfect, though. Melody is still waiting for Lib to find the perfect match for her, someone the prospective parents, the Jaydens, will accept, and her clock is ticking. To top things off, Melody has just learned that she has a twin. Harmony, who was raised in a religious commune away from the temptations of the world, shows up unexpectedly. If her existence becomes known, then Melody's DNA will no longer be unique and her value will plummet. Of course, Lib coincidentally comes up with Jondoe, the most prestigious "man brand" of them all, the Jaydens approve of him, and mistaken identity ensues. McCafferty has concocted a world that is dystopia-lite. Something horrible has happened, but life for most teens is still carefree. Everyone can access MiNet via contact lenses, the pleasure drug Tocin is readily available, and sex is encouraged. The author even slips some serious issues into this hip novel.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI