Published by Balzer + Bray on 4/26/2011
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.\r\n\r\nSixteen-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 search 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.\r\n\r\nHarmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.\r\n\r\nWhen 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.
Vapid? Silly? Over-the-top? Yes, yes and yes. Sometimes Bumped was so far over the line, I had to remind myself it was satire. I originally tried to read this book and I was so disgusted, I put it down and only after receiving the sequel, did I pick it back up. If I reminded myself that it was a satire every now and again, it wasn’t as hard to get through and I was able to enjoy the ridiculousness of it a little better. So it wasn’t all bad, I guess.
Bumped follows the stories of reunited identical twins Harmony and Melody in a post-Virus world where teens get paid to “bump,” errr, impregnate themselves for profit to help America further the population. I guess humping is the patriotic thing to do. And there are two ways to bump: get signed by a rep, thus going Pro, or bumping with your boyfriend or at an orgy party and becoming an Am. Each method guarantees you money when you sell your baby, but the difference is, how much? Bumped definitely gets an A for being original content. I don’t think any other author has been brave enough to attempt such a hot button topic as teen pregnancy and promiscuity, and attach profit along with it. But I got the feeling that there wasn’t a lot of the author’s heart and soul in Bumped and it was written to only shock readers. There was no underlying message to take away from all the underage sex that happened off the page (I’m the furthest thing from prudish, but…holy crap!).
I noticed the jabs at our “connectedness” with references to the MiNet. Everyone is connected in Bumped, everyone is in everyone else’s feeds, people trend like topics trend on twitter and in general, you are just always online. I did feel like this was great satire, since another hot button topic today is how connected we all are. This made me very aware how far we can carry it on the internet and how much further we could potentially take it.
There is a lot of slang in Bumped, but after reading for a bit, it wasn’t that hard to follow. I just found most of it ridiculous. I rilly don’t have much more to say about it other than that, I guess.
The characters in Bumped were…also ridiculous. I’m not sure I really liked any of them except for maybe Zen, when he wasn’t trying to hump things. He had a lot of good thoughts on the veritable community brainwashing society had done to these girls to get them to want to birth babies at ages as tender as 12 and 13 – and have multiple pregnancies for more money! Melody and Harmony were sort of interesting, but I felt as though the author tried too hard to make them exact opposites, Melody having been raised in Otherside and Harmony raised in God-fearing Goodside. The author made Harmony so outrageous in regards to her religion that I think it actually came off rather malicious. Other characters were, in fact, more vapid and self-serving, although I did enjoy Lib, because while he was so over the top, he encompassed all the traits of a sneaky representative I would imagine. I did like Jondoe, because of why he was doing what he was doing.
Overall, I didn’t exactly like the novel, but I didn’t loathe it enough to terminate (LOL, JK! I don’t loathe any books enough to do that!). The shock factor was, however, intriguing enough to want to read the second book. Would I recommend this? Only if you enjoy YA and satire, but be prepared. This is not a book for young teens or tender hearts.
For the sake of WTF, I feel like I need to include a glossary with this review: Pro – Professional procreator Am – Amateur procreator Bump – Have sex Rilly – Really Terminate – Just Die
So if you’ve read it, what did you think? Liked it? Loathed it?
“And by the next prayer service, she had the whole settlement praying on you. How thrilling it must have been for you to feel our prayers filling up that God-shaped hole in your soul!” Unless prayer can be mistaken for indigestion brought on by too many instant chimichangas, I haven’t felt a thing.
Books like this: Eve (for dystopian themes)