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Bumped It Straight Out The House
Bumped - Megan McCafferty
Member Name: Rhiana
Bumped - Megan McCafferty
Date: 18/10/11, updated on 18/10/11 (55 review reads)
Advantages: Clever ideas on future technology, I liked the contrast between the kids worlds.
Disadvantages: Made me feel extremely repulsed and uncomfortable, didn't get it at all, hated the slang
The year is 2040 and a virus has made everyone over the age of Eighteen infertile. Couples wanting children are forced to employ surrogates, teen girls who will carry their baby. The result is competition to get the best surrogate on offer, with lots of money exchanging hands for the right girl.
Sixteen year old Melody has been preparing to be become a surrogate for years and is about to make a record breaking deal with her perfect DNA. But just before it's complete a twin sister, Harmony, turns up at the door and throws Melody's life in chaos. Having been brought up in her bubblegum world where pregnancy is fashionable and glorified, Harmony's simple and godly existence is a complete contrast to her own. Harmony is certain her purpose is to protect Melody from what she believes is the ultimate sin, only Melody may just be starting to wonder this for herself...
Bumped was one of my highly anticipated books this year. I'd tried desperately to get a copy via Netgalley early on, to no avail so was more than ecstatic when it turned up unannounced through my mailbox several weeks ago. So it is with regret I say I didn't like it.
Didn't like it/didn't get it...it was a bit of both. I honestly thought the idea was such a fantastic one that I felt I was missing something by reacting so strongly against it. Maybe I am, the book has very mixed reviews so clearly it's a marmite one. The problems I found with it was believability. I just could not believe that in twenty years in our future we'd be willing to glorify kids as young as 13/14 having sex. I could believe in the idea that only under eighteens could carry children, but I didn't really get why we (society) would have lost all morals and would pit young kids against each other as they fought to win the best surrogate deal. And also, surely with the amount of technology that's present in this world it could be done without the actual act of sex. It honestly made my stomach heave.
I could see what the author was trying to say about our culture (the sexualisation of children, commercialising everything and making celebrities out of nothing and dropping them in the mud when they don't live up to expectation) but sadly I just don't think that message came across in the brash, in your face style it was written. I guess it was a satirical approach that just went right over my head. I cringed my way through this book, at times feeling physically sick...but not in a thought provoking way, more in sheer disgust. I also really hated the new slang littered throughout this book, which was annoying to say the least. I wanted to vomit every time I read the word Fertilicious (used by or to describe girls, as opposed to gorgeous/awesome/beautiful for example)
I did like the contrast between Harmony's old-fashioned devout church puritan upbringing and Melody's bubblegum world, where pregnant teens are the new celebrities and reality TV stars. And I also thought some of the futuristic inventions were pretty clever, such as the internet contact lenses...now I can believe in a population who's eye's flicker gormlessly as they can't pull themselves away from the virtual world. I'm kind of like that now as I crash into stuff with my head gazing down at my phone!
Unfortunately I can't recommend this book, it just made me feel too uncomfortable but for all the wrong reasons. I felt the author had so much fun creating this world, she forgot to give it a sinister edge and the result is a book that appears to make teen pregnancy attractive rather than what I guess was the original goal. For me, it was just too weird. If you think you may be offended in anyway by the topics I've mentioned then I scream AVOID to you. Personally I'd do my best to make sure this book passed my daughter by if she were a teen and I certainly don't think it should sit on the Young Adult shelf. Usually I don't feel so strongly and am very much against censorship, but this book made my skin crawl. If it was shock factor the author was going for, it worked. Only I assume not in the way they intended.
Published by Random House Children's Books Aug 2011
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review
Summary: A disturbing and uncomfortable book.