Thanks to Carly over at Writing from the Tub for giving this one to me :)
Author: Megan McCafferty
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
UK Release date: August 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
The year is 2036, and the HPSV virus has rendered everyone over the age of 18 infertile. Fertile (fertilicious) girls are hot commodities able to sell their babies for up to 6 figure sums.
Melody has spent every waking moment following her parents guidance and instructions to make herself as profitable as possible so she can professionally bump and sell her baby to another couple. But when her identical twin Harmony turns up from Goodside, trying to convert everyone to God and sex after marriage, things start to go wrong.
Bumped is a gripping look at a world where childbirth is a business, and the choice to have and bring up your child with someone you truly love is out of your hands.
Review: Right from the start Bumped is different. Everything revolves around sex and pregnancy (aka bumping and pregging), from the trimester divisions in the book, the setting and new slang language used by characters.
The first few chapters I found totally bewildering as I got used to the terminology such as reproaesthetic and breedy. But once I got into Bumped, I realized what an amazing concept McCafferty had come up with. The little details such as extra folate in cafeteria food really add to the whole setting and teenage pregnancy issue. On top of this is a very technology based future, and as a whole Bumped is a very fast and bubbly dystopian, different to anything else out there.
The point of view switches between two identical twins Melody and Harmony, who were separated at birth. In Otherside, Melody was groomed by her parents to professionally sell her babies, whilst in Goodside Harmony grew up being indoctrinated into unerring faith and sex after marriage. Despite these differences, both find themselves trapped in situations to do what is expected of them and not what makes them happy.
Whilst you might not automatically think that the popular and pretty Melody is the nicest person, I really felt for her when things start to fall down around her. Harmony, perhaps trapped in a situation she couldn’t escape from, made me feel sick. I couldn’t figure out if she was innocent and naive or just plain selfish and evil.
With such a controversial issue as 11 and 12 year olds getting pregnant and selling off their babies not to mention the over-the-top language, I can see why some people don’t like this book. But looking at the issue from different ideological perspectives (selling your child to pay for university, waiting to have children after marriage, or gasp – having sex for fun) adds a thought-provoking element about when sex and pregnancy is right. In Otherside society sex isn't seen as pleasurable or intimate in its own right but merely as a means of getting pregnant, which is really kind of sad. It's also scary to think that 'commercial' childbirth at 11/12/13 years is expected and glorified, and the idea of wanting to keep your own child is seen as shameful.
Bumped is a sassy dystopian full of jaw dropping moments and controversial ideas, that makes you think again about sex and pregnancy.