Lissa's Reviews > Bumped

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
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's review
Oct 02, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read from September 29 to October 02, 2011

Someone told me this was a satire - I don't remember who - and to take everything that was said with a grain of salt.

It's really a case of what not to do in novels and case in point, sometimes even the wrongest novels still get published.

I mean, a YA book promoting sex for procreation only and babies as commodities?

It's not meant to be believable, but it totally is. Sterile adults control teenage fertility and the teenagers think they're the ones in control. Megan McCafferty clearly knows her genre, what lines she can cross and what she can't, and that because this is a book from a well-known author it's going to be lapped up. There's hardly ever any talk of love. It's all 'bumping' and 'pregging' and doing their duty. It's not like love is forbidden - it's just that the teens are expected to put their feelings aside if they're to continue the human race. Pressure much? There is amateur bumping (pregnancy first, sell the baby) and professional bumping (contract first, produce baby) and hardly any teen keeps their babies. It sounds dark, but it's not. The teens are more than happy to do it.

The thing is, the book is totally hilarious.

I mean, identical twins called Melody and Harmony? A mistaken identity plot? How tacky is that? It's side-splittingly bad and hilarious at the same time.

Yes, the plot is predictable. But there was so much tension in offering the chapters alternately from each girl's point of view that when I reached the end of one chapter, I'd often momentarily skip over the next to read the beginning of the one after that, only just remembering that I'd already done that about a dozen times.

The prose itself is just gorgeous. If English is your first language you'll have no trouble deciphering their future-slang.

And if you're worried about the subject matter - a lot of sex talk, teenagers talking about sex for reproduction and tweens flaunting fake baby bumps because it makes them 'sexy' - don't worry about it. It's a satire. Explain that to your teen before giving them the book, and they'll learn just like Melody does that you don't have to do what everyone tells you to all the time, even if you think it's what you want. It's a great message on the subject of peer pressure, and actually the greatest book on peer pressure and society pressure I've ever read, even more so than Matched and Divergent, my two contemporary dystopians. Because this book doesn't even know it's a dystopian. Teens are being paid millions and setting up their entire future with their bumping. All the choices appear to be theirs, whether they amateur bump or professionally bump or even don't bump at all. How could this be a dystopian?

But it is. It's quite chilling when you think that all the media and promotions and sales are being targeted towards the prime demographic: teenagers. Parents rely on teenagers to bump early and often to earn their keep. Fake baby bumps are available for tweens. Professionals have agents to score them a good bumping contract. Everything about this world is designed for teens to reproduce with no attachments and no feelings to either their partner or their offspring. In turn, they will become parents to adopted babies they paid much for and will put pressure on their teen to bump.

If you don't take it too seriously, this book is awesome.
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Reading Progress

09/29/2011 page 55
17.0% "The opening is 20 pages of backstory. Please tell me she did it deliberately because it's what you're NOT meant to do."
10/01/2011 page 144
45.0% "I don't care that this is a satire, the language is easy to interpret and the plot is getting good... although the blurb blatantly LIED."

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