Series: Bumped #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing date: April 26th, 2011
Summary: 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.
Rating: 3.5 stars
I felt a lot of conflicting emotions while reading this book. It's well-written, the plot is original and the universe is well set (which is very important, in dystopia) but I didn't love it. It's impossible not to like it because of the subject matter and the way the author deals with it, but quite frankly... This book lost a star because of Harmony. Why Harmony? More on that later.
The story's told from both Melody and Harmony's point of view. I'm usually not a fan of POV switching in first-person narration, but this worked out pretty well. I really liked being in Melody's head. She felt very real in her questioning of her society, which is a feat because it's usually always too slow-paced (see: Matched). She was very well-written and I could sympathize with her and her need to please her parents, even if I didn't agree with her. Plus, she was funny and sarcastic. I just love her. Now Harmony, on the other hand... She annoyed me. A lot. To be fair, I think this has a lot to do with my personal taste rather than the way the character was written, but she was just too naive for me and I have no patience with naive characters. I couldn't relate to her at all, and at times she felt really selfish when I know her intentions were good. I'm kind of indecisive about her.
I've found the plot to be realistic and intriguing. McCafferty sets her universe really well, and even invents specific slang that Melody uses rather frequently. The vocabulary is easy enough to understand but I had issues with fully grasping the concept of what the "MiNet" was. Thankfully, this doesn't hinder your comprehension of the plot as a whole and even gives a refreshing aspect to the reality you're presented with. I was very, very relieved to see that the author didn't shy away from dealing with the issues resulting from the (rather bold) story line she chose, because it could have been a disaster. I really appreciated the fact that she talked about sexual relationships in a very upfront, healthy manner, and as something that has consequences but doesn't have to be "wrong" (as so many YA novels do nowadays).
I can't reveal much about the pairings without spoiling, but the person Harmony was paired with was surprisingly adequate and I just love Melody's love interest. Love, love, love him. HERE is an example of a healthy love interest who doesn't try to control, influence or jerk around the heroin. They had amazing chemistry and I very much enjoyed reading about them.
I would, despite my annoyance for Harmony, strongly recommend this book to everyone. It leaves a very strong impression, perhaps reinforced by the disturbing feeling that maybe, in a hundred years... It could be the actual reality.