Tuesday, July 19, 2011
YA Fiction: BUMPED by Megan McCafferty
And my YA fiction reading continues. BUMPED is set in the near future, but not dystopia, so at least that's a bit different from the slew of books that I've been reading. Melody and Harmony are twins, separated at birth. Harmony was raised in a religious cult, The Church, groomed to wed at 13 and have has many babies as possible. Whereas, Melody was raised in the more secular world, groomed by her parents to be the best at everything in order to secure a birthing contract with a rich couple. In this future, a virus has made most of mankind infertile and only teenagers can get pregnant and give birth. Making them a commodity. Girls willing to pregg out for a price and have good DNA are hot on the market. They can pay for their education. They get gifts. It's a sweet deal. You just have to have sex, (for some reason, invitro doesn't work in the future due to the virus), with either your boyfriend or someone who's been paid to be the male counterpart.
Melody leaves her home, in fact, she sneaks off. She wants to convert her secular sister, at least that's what she thinks she wants. Both Melody and Harmony aren't what they appear to be.
The world Melody and Harmony inhabit is fairly standard teenage fair apart from the pregnancy thing. Kids go to school. They have clubs. They party. They drink. They have sex (for procreation, as condoms are banned), and they obsess over celebrity culture like most teens do now. But their obsession isn't about actors and musicians, it's for prolific teen birth mothers and hot studs like Jondoe.
McCafferty's style is simple and accessible, and her prose flows well. It's easy to get inside her protagonists' heads. Each chapter alternates between the twin's perspective. By doing that, we get a unique insight into how the story unfolds. I really enjoyed that part of the book. There were times that the religious aspect got to be a bit too much and at times, cliched. And I could have done without an ending that left us hanging. Am growing a bit tired of so many YA Fiction books being a part of a trilogy. Why can't stories be told in one book? I think this idea could have been finished and done with without a sequel.