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Bumped by Megan McCafferty
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May 21, 12

bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in May, 2012

Megan Mcafferty, the author of the Jessica Darling series of books, has here crafted a smart and insightful piece of YA chick-lit. However, while the intended audience is clearly tween and teen girls, this book should be read by boys and young men as well. The story is set in a near-future dystopia, where a worldwide virus has rendered most humans incapable of bearing children after the age of eighteen. The story's main characters, twins separated at birth by the names of Melody and Harmony, grow up in very different communities in the United States - one in a closed religious order akin to the Amish or Hutterites, the other in a hyper-secularlized and commercialized open community. However, both communities are intent upon reproduction by their teens - one through religion and the other through economic motivations.

The details of these societies are revealed over time, through the actions of Harmony, Melody, and the other characters. I cannot reveal many more details without revealing spoilers. The book is well-written, with the characters reflecting upon sexual politics and religion, as well as upon peer pressure and free choice, and their role as women in society. The author provides open criticism, and there is no particular bias except toward recognizing painful choices. This would be an excellent choice for a YA book discussion group.
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