Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Online Galley (ARC)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
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.
My Summary: Melody and Harmony are identical twins who were separated at birth. In their dystopian society, the Virus has made everyone over the age of 18 infertile, threatening the future of the entire human race. To combat this problem, the media has turned 'pregging for profit" into the next big thing: girls are hired as surrogates and paid to 'bump' with a stranger until they get pregnant. Upon delivery of the child, the girl is paid - usually very handsomely, especially if she possesses the desired physical and intellectual traits. Girls like Melody are groomed from a young age to fit this 'perfect persona', and the more babies they have, they more successful they become. Melody is still waiting for her bump partner to be chosen when her long-lost sister appears on her doorstep, having just escaped from the simple 'Churchies' community where she grew up - a place where girls are married by 13 and expected to have as many children as possible before they turn 18. Harmony's mission is to help her sister 'find God' - convert her sister and help her see the light - but will she end up being the one who changes her mind? My Thoughts: This novel was a light read which was really funny at points but fell kinda flat at others. I loved the use of pregnancy terms as slang, although sometimes it was a little hard to understand what the words meant (you really had to figure out what it meant in the context of the sentence). You couldn't take this book very seriously, considering it was a satirical type of novel, but there were points where I wished for a deeper or more emotional reaction from the characters. I did like the characters though - I think Zen was my favourite overall: he was such a sweetheart, the way he took care of Melody and Harmony like a big brother would.
This novel also shows a variety of views about 'bumping' at a young age (*wink wink*), both from a religious perspective and a societal perspective. It also seems to ask a question: are teenagers mentally prepared to be parents or even surrogates for that matter? And should we only pick our partners based on what they offer (physically and intellectually), completely ignoring their personalities?
Final Thoughts:Bumped was a nice light read that I think older teens and more mature readers would enjoy.