Lyndsey's Reviews > Bumped

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
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's review
Mar 12, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed-2011, reviewed-2-stars, 1st-person, pov-primarily-female, netgalley, to-read, about-sisters
Read from March 12 to 14, 2011

So, Melody and Harmony are our two main characters. And guess what - they're twins! Naw....really?!

Not that they are bad names, but twins named Melody and Harmony?! Cliche much?

The similar names also made it very difficult to keep straight on who was who. The perspective jumps back and forth between the two of them just about every couple pages or so. The breakneck speed of the switches makes it difficult to develop a connection to the characters or keep track of what in the heehaw is goin' on. (Sorry, when I get frustrated - the Southern comes out.)

So Melody, or is it Harmony, or Symphony. No, I think it's Rhythm. Hell, I can't keep them straight, so I will call them Future Twin, who is the first one we are introduced to and uses excessive amounts of future slang, and Religious Twin, who is the second and religious fanatic type.

Future Twin and Religious Twin are sixteen and are just meeting for the first time. Future Twin has loaned out her body to "bump" and then deliver a baby to sell to the highest bidder. Religious Twin has come to find her and save her soul. Religious Twin then proceeds to impersonate Future Twin when the guy who's supposed to "bump" her comes around, because she somehow believes this will help save Future Twin's soul. But instead a whole lot of complicated things start to happen...

Right off the bat, the "lingo" hit me like a back-handed slap from my momma. Okay, so I don't actually call her Momma. And my mom would never really hit me. Except for that one time. She threatened to spank me with a wooden spoon and then she DID. Yeah, I laughed too... while she was doing it. Anywho. (Oh hey! There's my Northerner side. (view spoiler))

The future speak in this book annoyed the heck out of me and the religious speak annoyed the HELL out of me.

In the Part One, they had some new madey-upy biofrantonkulous slangifiedness almost every third or fourth word. It just didn't flow right. It felt forced and stunted; not to mention, it made me dry-heavey with all the neggy-and-preggy-fullification.

Then there is the religious speak. "If I serve well." "Complete faith in my faith." "Oh my Grace." "Majestic." "Glorious." "Halleluyah!" "Not a place of righteousness." "Do you have God?"

I have absolutely nothing against a religious mentality. I am myself a very spiritual person, but this was just too much. Growing up in Christian schools my entire life, I know first hand that teenagers, especially, just do not talk like that. Maybe in some extremist circumstances, but STILL it is horribly annoying.

Religious Twin actually compares her love interest to...... You guessed it...... JESUS! She says something to the effect of "He looks the way Jesus does in my dreams." And she wants to do Jesus. This takes the whole everything-glorious-and-perfect-love-interest thing to an entirely new and disturbing level. Yes, and the guy she compares to Jesus is the same guy that called having sex with her - "pro-boner" work.

The only semi-normal, semi-acceptable, semi-catchy phrase to come out of this: For serious.

Maybe this part of the book would resonate more with younger teen girls, who still have delusions of mystery surrounding the complexities of inventing new slang and get a thrill from deciphering what their friend's "secret codes" say. But I'm over it. Unless it feels natural and relative to the fictional world. To me, this didn't. Maybe I'm just too old for this shiznit.

In Part One, we experience something called reverse info-dumping. Pages and pages of indistinct and unexplained terminology and culture references. Then at the beginning of Part Two and about one quarter into the book, the writing takes a fairly drastic turn. The laughably overabundant slang use subsides and becomes bearable. Yet still not entirely believable.

Another problem is the subject matter. I feel it is almost too sensitive for preteens, so I'm left wondering what demographic this is aimed at. The written material is too sexualized for the young, but the writing itself is almost too young for anyone older.

And considering the title seems to basically be a YA-friendly version of "F***ed", I'm really not sure this is a good choice for preteens. It is hazy on whether or not "bumped" means to "have sex with" or to "get pregnant with" or both combined into one word. As this quote from Zen, one of the love interests, demonstrates: "Insufficient verticality. No one pays to bump with a guy who's five-foot-seven-and-a-half."

Finally in about the last five pages, it is made somewhat clearer that to "bump" is to impregnate. But, geez, was that really so difficult?

With such a grim premise, humans not being able to procreate after the age of eighteen, I guess I was expecting a darker aura about the book. It feels much too light and fluffy.

Both girls are shallow, only thinking of either getting pregnant or serving the Lord. I remember being a teenager, since it wasn't that long ago; most teens have so much more on their minds than that. It just wasn't believable at all.

I will admit to giggling quite a bit, but usually it was over the ridiculousness of the slang and the shallow characterizations of the girls.

Religion plays a large role in this book and the one idea that I really related to is that you can turn away from the church without turning away from your faith. This point was raised to Religious Twin toward the end of the book.

I completely recognize and understand that people WILL like this. I think a large part of the audience will be curious younger girls just starting to get interested in sexual activity.

My biggest problem is the feel of the book. It seems too perky and wow-look-how-great-it-is-to-be-pregnant for a large part of the book. It rarely seems to imply that being a pregnant teen is not all rainbows and butterfly kisses. In order to get that message across, the entire book would need to be infinitely darker. But I do think that a lot of teen girls will find this super fun.

Personally, I found that I was constantly wanting to smack myself to see if I was dreaming this ridiculousness. Because I wanted to like it. I really, really wanted to like it.

And the ending! Really? Gee, I wasn't expecting them to try and turn another YA book, that should be a standalone, into a series!! Are they STILL doing that?

Now, don't get me wrong.

I am not saying that you shouldn't read this. I just don't think it is a great choice for younger teens. I am left a little confused on who the exact intended audience is, but regardless, it's up to you whether or not to read this. It depends on how you view the reading experience and what you care to devote that reading time to.

I, personally, almost never feel like reading time is wasted, even if I don't particularly care for a book. Because often, you come away from it with a little extra "youness". What I mean is this: every book can help shape who you are or who you become. If you let it.

Usually, there's something you can take away from a book, whether you liked it or not. Even if it is just learning a little something about yourself that you didn't know before.

Honestly, though. I CANNOT wait to see some of the things my fellow Goodreaders will say about this book in their reviews and, especially, in their status updates. For serious!

So I am officially starting "Bumped" Watch 2011.

So I can "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over all the Goodreaders who officially get their first Bumped review this year.

"Oh my gawd, look how cute that little Bumped review is." "How does she look so good with that HUGE Bumped review?" "I wonder who the Daddy of that Bumped review is?"

Oh yeah. Almost forgot. (This book was provided to me as a review copy by Netgalley and HarperCollins. Thanks!)
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Reading Progress

03/12/2011 page 1
0.0% "Why can't I find an edition with the same number of pages as my ebook? The page counts are all way higher than my edition..." 2 comments
03/12/2011 page 59
19.0% "So far, this book is annoying me with it's epic suck."
03/13/2011 page 116
38.0% "This is strange. Part Two seems to have a completely different style and tone. The overwhelming amount of "future" lingo has been cut back tremendously. But I'm still not impressed with the world building OR the characters." 1 comment
03/14/2011 page 230
76.0% "This guy did NOT just call having sex with a sixteen-year-old-girl-whose-parents-don't-make-much-money "pro boner" work!!" 9 comments
03/14/2011 page 304
100.0% "Ugh. Gross sappy cliffhangerish ending."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 64) (64 new)

Lyndsey Yeah my page count is off by like 80 pages though. Sucks.

message 2: by Nisha (new)

Nisha It sounds like it has potential to be good. Is it boring or nonsensical or just plain unlikeable?

message 3: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 12, 2011 11:48PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey Nonsensical. For sure. The world-building is just horrible, and it's trying to hard to "hip". The main characters are very unlikeable and entirely non-distinct. Just bad altogether, so far.

message 4: by Nisha (new)

Nisha aww, bummer. The plotline sound so intriguing and Megan McCafferty is a good writer.

message 5: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 12, 2011 11:58PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey Yeah, I was really excited to read it. Maybe it's more for people who haven't yet read a lot of dystopia. Although, I'm not actually getting much of a dystopian vibe from it yet. More of an "after-school special" type vibe.

message 6: by Dinjolina (new)

Dinjolina Huh.
I get all weirded out when the people I follow on gr have a totally different view of book.
This on?
It goes from 'just kill me now' to 'better then chocolate' :/

Lyndsey Well, I am not getting the raving reviews for this one at all. But I'm not giving up on it just yet.

message 8: by Nomes (new)

Nomes I've lost interest in this one.

I am turning cynical, hey. And I am not even a cynical person (honest!). A bit weary of hype and YA dystopia.

LOL @ after-school special vibe!

Lyndsey Oh you just wait til my review... I have a feeling this one will be rantalicious! LOL

Ugh. The most annoying thing about it has been the forced "futuristic" lingo and preachiness.

message 10: by Lora (new)

Lora Hilarious! Sorry you didn't like this. I know I won't be reading it^^

Lyndsey Thanks, Lora. And I know! It saddens me because I had very high hopes.

:-( See how sad I am.

message 12: by Lora (new)


message 13: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ Wow! Great review, so glad that I decided not to read this one:)

message 14: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe Ha, I actually just finished this last night and ended up more-or-less loving it, despite the fact that it was 1. Twin fail cliche (seriously, for the sake of twins everywhere, I'd love to see twinness someday used not for a mistaken identity plotpoint) 2. also difficult for me to tell Melody and Harmony apart because their names were TOO DAMN SIMILAR. 3. Really annoying at first.

I thought it ended up being pretty incisive feminist satire. But it had to really earn my trust after the first 40 pages or so.

message 15: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 14, 2011 02:37PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey Phoebe, it did get much better after the first part! But I just couldn't get past the cliche-ness and what I felt was a lack of character depth. For two very different individuals, it should have been much easier to separate them. Overall, just not for me. I got a few laughs in though. :-)

message 16: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic LOL. Great review Lyndsey. Off my wishlist this goes!

Crystal Great review! I agree with you 100%. I think the issues weren't taken seriously enough and I agree that she could have made this darker and the book might have been better.

message 18: by Kay (new)

Kay I wasn't interested in this book before, but now I'm definitely not going to read it.

message 19: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Awesome review! I am definitely keeping this off my list after your review as well as Crystal's.

message 20: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 14, 2011 03:32PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey Hellion, I think you would probably have a blast with the status updates on this book! I'm sure I would have fun reading them. I haven't read any VC Andrews, though. So I can't compare.

And Jillian, I think this would make a good I'm-in-a-reading-rut-so-I-might-as-well-make-the-most-of-it-and-read-something-that-I-don't-think-I'm-going-to-like-anyway kind of book.

Katrice, Arlene and Nic - thanks! And I'm always happy to help with the to-read or not-to read decisions!

Crystal - I'm glad I'm not the only one. :-)

message 21: by Laura Lulu (new)

Laura Lulu Awesome review, Lyndsey.

Anywho, I am definitely too old for this shiznit. Thanks for saving me. :)

Lyndsey Sometimes, I think that I'm probably too old to use the word "shiznit"... But then I think "Ah Frak, I'm never too old to use hilarious sounding substitutes for actual curse words."

message 23: by willaful (new)

willaful Lyndsey wrote: "Sometimes, I think that I'm probably too old to use the word "shiznit"... But then I think "Ah Frak, I'm never too old to use hilarious sounding substitutes for actual curse words.""


message 24: by Laura Lulu (new)

Laura Lulu Please. I'm way older than you, and I used it on GR just the other day. Like you said, you're never too old to use silly word substitutions. Fo shizzle.

I don't know if I use it very often in spoken conversation, but without facial expressions & tone of voice, you need some added oomph to get a smart ass comment across around here.

Lyndsey How do you know that you are older than me? My innocent face is decieveing. I still get mistaken for a high school student often, even though I'm 25.

And yeah, I cuss quite a bit in real life, but for some reason it just doesn't have the same effect if I type it.

message 26: by Laura Lulu (new)

Laura Lulu Like I said, I'm waaaaay older than you. Let me throw a few more a's in there for good measure.

I'm old enough to be your mom. I would have had to get bumped the year I got my 1st period, but still...

message 27: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 14, 2011 08:35PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey Oh gawd. That's not that much! Did you know that these days some girls start puberty as young as 8 and 9? Kids are growing up way to fast nowadays.

And YA books emphasizing sex or pregnancy that are marketed to preteens don't really help let "kids be kids".

message 28: by Laura Lulu (new)

Laura Lulu I know. I read somewhere that the average age is now 10. Yikes--I have an 8 yr old daughter. :shiver:

The average when I was a kid--back in the olden days ;)--was 13. I was average.

Enjoy 25. It's a good one. :)

Lyndsey I'll try. XD

message 30: by Laura Lulu (new)

Laura Lulu Eh. You won't appreciate it until it's gone. You damn whippersnappers.


Lyndsey Ahahaha!! NEVER! Be careful or I will blare my music loudly and throw wild parties next door.

message 32: by Gabry (last edited Mar 14, 2011 10:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gabry I actually enjoyed the book for some reason. Probably because I was in a good mod. But I agree with this review a lot. 'Specially with the religious speak which was very weird to read, even coming from a religious person myself.
But you know, after reading this review, it makes me think about the scene with "He looks like... JESUS [in my dreams]." was just a WTF moment. Does that mean Jondoe has a Cheesus beard? #questions

Lyndsey LOL, I know. I was like whathafaaaaa? You want to have sex with Jesus?!?!

Oh man, Cheesus! That makes me want to watch that Grilled Cheesus episode of Glee again!! Love that show. :-)

message 34: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe Hehe, I think she DOES say Jondoe has a beard.

Which is really, really strange. I don't think I've ever heard of a CRAZY HUNKY CELEBRITY who goes around with a beard all the time.

Lyndsey That's another thing that I didn't mention! I never ever had a clear mental image of what these people looked like. It was even worse with the setting. What did these places look like? Or the technology? The only place I could see easily in my head was Jondoe's parents house. But it was the only place that wasn't futuristic.

Lyndsey Oh! And I think Brad Pitt had a beard for a while, but - Meh. Never been a huge Brad fan.

message 37: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle Carolina Well... that's two people telling me Bumped won't be my cup of tea. My ARC is looking a bit forlorn.

Lyndsey Awwwww, that's sad. I don't like any book looking forlorn. Every little book deserves to be read by someone somewhere. :-(

I'm sure there's a high school nearby, with hundreds of excited teen girls that would gladly mob you for that book...

message 39: by Mariel (new)

Mariel Awww another bad book about twins. My twin and I don't have lame names, at least.

message 40: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 16, 2011 05:52PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lyndsey I know people think I'm crazy but I would eventually like to have twins. A girl and a boy. Eventually, though. Not soon for sure.

message 41: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle Carolina I would love to have twins as well and have awesome names chosen, but of course, I am the "Name-Nerd" book reviewer.

Lyndsey Oh man, I am obsessed with names. And of course, I have my future hypothectical twins names picked out too. But I'm paranoid and won't tell anyone in case they decided to steal my names.

Sarah  (sarahandherbookshelves) I did put this on my TBR list but I am kinda unsure if its for me. Great review by the way Lyndsey!

Lyndsey Thanks Sarah! When it comes out, it couldn't hurt to pick it up at library and see if you can handle the lingo.

Allison Ha! I liked Bumped and had a great time reading it, but this review is hilarious. :D

Jackie Lyndsey, I had the very same reaction about the lingo. I really like the author, but I just had such a hard time with it. I think it took away from the book.

Lyndsey Thanks, Allison. I didn't hate the book at all, I just found it funny in ways that I'm not sure that were supposed to be funny... So that translates into my review.

And Jackie, I'm glad someone else felt the same. I think that it would have been much better without the all the ridiculous new words.

message 48: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland Thanks for the warning about godspeak. I really appreciate it. It would annoy me too.

message 49: by Tracey (new)

Tracey You are hilarious! I'd read your reviews before I'd read any book! Thank you!

Lyndsey No, thank you! I'm always glad to know someone got a few chuckles on my account. :-)

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