Book: Bumped by
Published by: Balzer + Bray, April 26th 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Format/pages: Hardcover 336 pages
Format read/Source: eGalley via NetGalley
Date read: March 21 2011
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Bumped is a different sort of dystopian book. It has a biting sense of humor, original slang and fast pace that sets it apart. This fascinating dark comedy addresses issues such as teen pregnancy in a unique and interesting way that is relevant to today’s world.
The premise is that in the future a virus has caused everyone over the age of 18 to be infertile. Couples need to hire teenage surrogates in order to have a baby. Teens are in high demand for their fertility and exploit this for monetary gain. One such teen is 16-year-old Melody. She is hoping to “bump” with a desirable match for a couple to earn money for college. Melody finds out she has an identical twin sister named Harmony who suddenly shows up on her doorstep. The sisters couldn’t be more different. Harmony was raised in a strict religious upbringing and wants to save Melody from her conception contract and help her lead a more sin-free life. Melody wants Harmony to go back home and let her live her life as she sees fit.
At the surface both Melody and Harmony are over the top characters that fit a certain stereotype. Melody is obsessed with getting bumped, her image, and trying on fake bumps. Harmony comes off as a satirical religious fanatic. But once Melody’s arranged conception match, the infamous Jondoe, comes into the picture, we find that there is more substance beneath the surface.
The book touches on such hot-button themes as teen pregnancy, religion, consumerism, and the media and provides much food for thought. Relationships between friends, sisters and family are also explored. Once I got used to the slang the story really clicked for me. The world building is well done, and the story provides an interesting commentary on the world today. The ideas are even scarier because it’s easy to imagine the world headed in this direction.
Recommended for fans of Young Adult looking for a unique, smart and satirical read. Bumped is the first book in a series.
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