"WHEN A VIRUS makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents must 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 search 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 convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
Characters: Harmony had a very strong personality from the beginning of Bumped. It's rare that I delight in reading about a naive narrator, but Harmony's vigor, determination and intelligence made me come to enjoy her character. I did not like how selfish she became closer to the end of the novel. I had a hard time understanding why she couldn't empathize with Melody at this point in the book when she had been able to before. We'll see in the sequel if I'm able to forgive her. However, Harmony's tender, honest love for God, as well as seeing her come more into her own, was wonderful to see.
Melody had less of a vocal presence in the book. Which makes sense due to how her parents conditioned her to be perfect. I like Melody, it just took me the entirety of the book to figure out where I stood with her. Her presence was more to show the reader the world of bumping than to get a sense of her character in Bumped. I hope to see that change in the next book.
As for the rest of the characters, I loved the satirical edge of the book. In parts, I laughed and wondered if I should be, and I think that shows how wonderful this piece of satire is. I'm still not sure what to make of Jon Doe. I have a feeling I'll enjoy trying to figure him out in future books. I didn't enjoy how much focus on put on his morals, though. I loved Zen. He had the kind of personality a lot of YA authors strive for in their best friend love interests and falter with, but McCafferty didn't.
Harmony is by far the most fleshed out character in this ensemble. I hope Melody's evolves further. 4 flowers.
Writing: I loved the language McCafferty used to get the message of the book across. The casual nature surrounding teen sex - exclusively procreation, not for pleasure - made my skin crawl. It's very easy to imagine a world like Bumped occurring in the near future. 4 and a half flowers.
Plot: It's great when an author writes with the assumption that their audience is intelligent. It isn't great when an author assumes a reader will know everything about their world that they know. I found myself feeling through the dark a couple of unnecessary times with Bumped and its world. Info dumping is not a good tool, but I like to know the basics of a dystopian world after reading 100 pages. I wish McCafferty had spent more time informing her audience.
The plot paced quite well, and I was never bored. I'm only interested in what will happen in the next book. 4 flowers.
End: A little fed up with the cliffhanger ending, but I liked the literary writing loop. 3 and a half flowers.
Dust Jacket Description: I find this description to be very thorough, which is rare. 5 flowers.
Cover: I like the semi sinister look this cover has when you look at it for a little while. It's too simplistic for me, though. 4 flowers.
Overall: If you like dystopian but want a fluffier, padded edge to your next read, try this one! 4 flowers.