My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book poses a very intriguing question: What if only teenagers could have babies? It’s a question I found very interesting – interesting enough, I’ve been asking my work collegues for their answer to this all week.
I had high hopes for this book. I knew what I wanted it to be, and because of that, I was wary going in. What if it was too serious? Or not serious enough? Or didn’t ACTUALLY answer the question at all? Instantly, from McCafferty’s note to the readers, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a serious answer to the question it posed. And then from the first chapter, that was definitely cemented.
I did thoroughly enjoy reading Bumped. It took dystopian novels to a new level, and with a unique and interesting premise to boot, this was definitely an entertaining read. It dealt with twins (a guilty pleasure of mine, especially when it comes to swapped identity), and made me smile quite a few times. There was enough changed that I liked finding out what the new world consisted of, but not enough that I was completely lost.
Unfortunately, I really wish this novel had taken on a more serious tone. Because the premise behind this has such serious implications, I thought it could have been handled a lot differently. Perhaps showing true human nature when it comes to carrying on the population. And while McCafferty made hints at it, she didn’t focus on the bad parts long enough for them to become an issue.
Instead, we had one God loving teen trying to connect with a sister whose womb has been sold to a childless couple. The two twins couldn’t be any different. At first, I was a little irriated by Harmony. Her constant references to religion and her naivity were frustrating to read about. However, as the novel went on, I began to really warm to her. She was sweet and endearing and incredibly human. Melody too was a character portrayed realistically. Her whole life had been leading up to the time she was to get pregnant for someone else. But actually is one of the last people in her class to become pregnant. It was very thought provoking to see how the twins perceived this realistic world. And even better to see how both opinions change to understand where the other comes from.
As much as I wanted the issues in this book to be taken seriously, I can’t help but admit how much I enjoyed the playful side of this novel. For instance, the jingles about being pregnant, the brands and products created around pregnancy, the sayings and after school clubs and new words created. They were hilarious!!
My only other two concerns about this novel were that 1) The beginning was extremely jumbled, jumping back and forth in time to scenes that were supposed to explain the characters but actually just left me feeling a little dizzy from confusion. The beginning definitely needed to be slowed down and explained better. And 2) That the pacing seemed off at the end, which pretty much suffered some of the same issues as the beginning. Everything happened with little to no explanation and we were just expected to believe it. We were given no evidence to back up the characters motivations and what DID happen seemed to only happen in order for the ending to seem plausible.
But, to sum it up, I did really enjoy this book for what it was. In a perfect world, this would have a different tone to the novel. I recommend this to dystopian lovers who want a light-hearted, entertaining read. 4 Stars.