Published by Balzer + Bray on 4/24/2012
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult
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It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!\r\n\r\nMarried to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.\r\n\r\nTo her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.\r\n\r\nThe girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:\r\n\r\nTell the truth.
Thumped picks up exactly 35 weeks after Bumped left off: Melody and Harmony are thirty-five weeks pregnant with Jondoe’s twins and Lib has used them to create the MiNet sensation, The Hotties. They are no longer individuals; they are a brand and society is in love with them. Except they have one small (big) problem…
I can’t say that I initially enjoyed Bumped, because it was so over-the-top and in-your-face. I found the premise a strange sort of ridiculous and somewhat shocking (but on the flip side, some good books have great shock value, right?). So I was apprehensive when I was given Thumped for review. Thumped is much the same, but McCafferty takes it to the next level. Where I was a little lost in her messages with Bumped (for the record, I wrote that review after I had read Thumped), I sort of got what she was implying with all the satire in Thumped. We could become this if we stay too connected and let bogus media influence our lives. Hell, maybe we’re already there with all of the internet sites, rag mags and, yes, even Twitter.
I get why she chose the subject of teen pregnancy; it is quite the shock-fest. Where books like Wither show the decay of society into polygamy, Thumped shows the ascension to abusing the Next Generation (no, that isn’t a salute to you Trekkies….sorry). It really made me think: how far would we go to preserve the human race? How far would YOU go to ensure the survival of your family line? I think I would go pretty far, but I don’t know how far. So Thumped became thought-provoking for me.
So that begs the question: why didn’t I like it more? Well, I’ll tell you, the slang sort of ruins moments in the book for me. It’s hard to keep up with it, without a glossary and who wants to refer back to a glossary all the freaking time? I don’t. (And it’s honestly not impossible to keep up with, but it felt like I was reading a strange version of English…which I was.) Often the characters annoyed the crap out of me. Harmony was less “churchy” which is great, but not because I’m anti-religion or anything; I really felt like in the first book, McCafferty took the church thing too far with Harmony. Yes, there are extremists in every group, but the point of this novel was to amplify everything and Harmony’s church-ways seemed overly amplified in my humble opinion. This is coming to you from someone who doesn’t even attend church, except when I have to go to a funeral. Or wedding. So the dampening of Harmony in Thumped was very welcome. Melody wasn’t as interesting in Thumped as she was in Bumped. I found that she often took a backseat to Harmony’s escapades, even though she presented as the stronger character in Bumped. Where was the strong, egomaniacal Jondoe that I sort of liked in Bumped? Instead we have this emo kid lusting after someone he hasn’t seen in thirty-five weeks. Le sigh. Probably the coolest character was still Xander, for being anti-let’s-use-teenagers-to-reproduce and expressing his thoughts concisely and consistently. I also liked Lib. Just because he was so outrageous. Sometimes outrageous is great!
Overall, the sexual themes and content continue in Thumped, although any real heat happens off page. I still wouldn’t find this series suitable for young teenagers. While there is no gratuitous sex and McCafferty’s message rang loud and clear to me, I think the satire is too mature for young audiences to conceive (pun intended).
I face my reflection, an engorged distortion I barely recognize anymore. I’ll do it this time,” I say to the mirror. I mean it, too. I’m alone here in my bedroom. The blades are sharp enough and there’s no one here to stop me but myself.
Books like this: Bumped