Bumped Review

Monday, April 4, 2011

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Published: April 26, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 336
Source: Tour/Cornucopia of Dystopia

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
Melody and Harmony were born into a world where teen pregnancy is as valuable as money in society. Melody never knew Harmony, but now they've found each other and must learn to come to terms with the upbringing the other has received. Melody has a goal - she wants to bump and receive all the status and money that comes with it. Harmony, however, wants nothing more than to be the perfect wife and mother. But despite their different lives, their identical looks are going to send them on a journey together that's both a blessing and a curse - pretty much the same as their chance meeting.

Bumped is another big-name book in the wave of new dystopian novels taking over the YA market. Written by veteran author Megan McCafferty, known for her popular and well-written Jessica Darling series, Bumped presents a world that puts an all new spin on the media craze we see today. Whereas we watch shows such as Teen Mom and The Pregnancy Pact, Bumped turns this phenomenon on its head, making teen pregnancy a valuable, enviable and coveted turn of events. It's a unique twist on the dystopian genre - slightly creepy and eerily fascinating, but definitely and completely one-of-a-kind. 

Promising premise aside though, I have to admit that Bumped fell flat for me. From page one the book is cluttered with the slang of the world Melody and Harmony live in. In fact, it was so jarring that I actually put it down to attempt to digest who the characters actually were. Furthermore, Bumped is written from both Melody and Harmony's POVs, alternating by chapter and furthering my confusion. Now, don't get me wrong, the irony of the world of Bumped is not lost on me. That said, I felt it was contrasting with an overtly perky voice that didn't fit a story that, I'm assuming, was supposed to be somewhat serious. I'm a fan of Megan's other books, so I was surprised this didn't work for me.

Now, I'm not saying that Bumped is a bad book, but I'm confused about the audience of Bumped, as well as what I was supposed to take away from it. If it was supposed to be ironic, or a play on what we see today, I would want that to be more apparent and not masked by slang and dialogue that just didn't work for me. I hate giving bad reviews, but I give it a 2.5 out of 5 for the original premise and the author's talent, alone. I would still recommend it to fans of an upper YA audience, as well as those who enjoy dystopian novels.


  1. I've received this one from NetGalley to review. Its disappointing you weren't impressed. I'm going to give it a go, since the kindle tab is back. Hopefully, I find it better than you did. Thanks for an honest review. Its never fun giving a less than stellar review to a book, but I believe as long as you express yourself in a tactful way (which you did) they are just as important to the industry as the good ones.

  2. ahh

    most my best (and trusted) goodreads friends either gave this one or two stars ~ so this review doesn't surprise me :D

    good job on giving a good negative review (it isn't easy to write one so well)

  3. Very nice review. I'm currently reading Bumped and I'm about 65% through. The first few pages were jarring for me as well and I felt like I was on information overload, so I had to take a little break to digest as well. Still, I find it intriguing and interesting, so I'm sticking with it and I'm hoping that when I finish the last page, all my thoughts on it will come together coherently.

  4. Oh and I meant to say in addition to that, thank you for being honest. I think it is definitely the way to go with the "bad reviews" and all reviews and I'm glad you don't shy away from them. Lots of people could learn from your method of politely explaining the positives and negatives and why a book fell short for you but may be great for others. I really appreciate that.

  5. Thank you for the honest review! I just started this one (don't you just LOVE NetGalley?) and, so far, I'm struggling with the slang and being thrown into this chaotic world. And thank you so much for saying the alternating dialogue was confusing! Even though there are only two POV's and both characters are so different in their beliefs, I'm having trouble with the quick switches and short chapters.

    But I just started it and am only about 20% in. The premise is intriguing and I do want to know what happens with the girls so I'll keep reading. Hopefully, I'll get into it more.

  6. Im so glad Im not the only one feeling this way..:( I tried to read this and started it over like 3 times and I just couldnt get into it...I had a hard time getting the lingo and I just thought the subject was...strange.

    Awesome review!!

  7. Thanks for your honesty! This doesn't sound like my kind of book, and your review confirm that I shouldn't buy it :P

  8. OMG, I'm so delayed with all these new releases and tours! :P And seriously, your honest review is appreciated! Heaps of new releases get 'fantabulous' reviews, so a review from another perspective balances things out, you know? :D

    Also, although I'm not a huge fan of the dystopian genre, I'm curious to see how I would find 'Bumped'.

  9. I also find it really hard to get into novels with a whole lot of new slang and lingo... I get what the authors are trying to do there, but it makes it really hard to be immersed in the world they're creating, not easier.

    Thanks for the honest review! I think I'll try borrowing it from the library, instead of buying it like I planned.

  10. The slang is what has been postponing my picking up and reading of this book. Every review I have read (even the good ones) say that the slang is tough. And if I can't understand what they are talking about how is the story supposed to be enjoyed? I had been pining for this one so I think I will still give it a go, just with lower expectations.
    Thanks for the honest review :)

  11. Thanks for your honesty! I actually loved Bumped, but I agree that the slang was jarring at first. *shrug*

  12. I have this book and super excited to read it! I am sad to hear it is not as good as I think. I really hate it when books do that. And thanks for the honesty in your review

  13. Great to read a different opinion about this book. I've only read one McCafferty book and I loved it. I'm still curious about this one, but I'll go in with lower expectations.

  14. Okay, now I want to read this one. I was actually on the fence since I heard all the great reviews, but for some reason this one pushed me to the side of want. I think because now I have an idea of what to watch out for, I think I'll enjoy it more now than I would have before the review. See... even the less than "you must read this" type of reviews still interests us readers. :) Thanks!

  15. I had heard that the slang made the book difficult to read and while I liked the premise, I am not sure I will be reading this one since I doubt it will be a book my students should read just yet. Thanks for the honest review.

  16. I've been seeing reviews like yours in my reader lately which makes me scared and honestly not wanting to read it. I read the first page of Bumped and noticed all the slang right from the beginning and set the book down, it was VERY obvious. Great review Melissa!

  17. The first few chapters of this were completely confusing, but after I got used to the slang and Harmony and Melody's voices I ended up loving it. I can definitely understand that this is not a book for everyone!

  18. Doesn't sound for me either. Great honest review.

  19. This one seems to be a love it or a hate it book! It actually makes me really interested to see what I think! :) Great review!

  20. Hmmm I've seen mixed reviews for this one. I'm not sure I even want to bother..... so many GOOD dystopians out there, ya know?!

  21. Well, I still want to read this, but I'm not sure it's quite so high up in the pile anymore...

    Kristin@ My Bookish Ways

  22. Oh, bummer, sorry this one fell flat for you.  I'm curious to see if Jondoe is sincere in his feelings for the certain twin or not.  He had me convinced, but then I'm gullible.  I'll be reading Thumped for sure.


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