Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

In the not-so-distant future a devastating virus has taken its toll on the world's population, leaving teenagers to foot the bill for sustaining the human race. Obsessed to its core about keeping teenagers pregnant, and happy to be such, society has developed countless new ways socially, economically, and technologically to sustain its need for reproduction, lest everything crumble.

Meanwhile, Melody and Harmony are about as different as two twins can be. Melody, a product of the society that she was raised in, has been groomed by her adoptive parents since infancy to be the perfect vessel for the spawn of the highest bidder. Smart, athletic, and attractive, she has a contract with an equally perfect couple to create a beautiful baby worth what Melody is being paid. If only the couple would hurry up and find someone for Melody to "bump" with, because time is quite literally running out.

Harmony, on the other hand, has spent her entire life in Goodside, a religious community known for its pious lifestyle, Godly worldview, and reluctance to accept anything but complete obedience from its followers, which is perhaps why Harmony runs away from it all. Living with Melody now, Harmony struggles to navigate a new world that goes against everything that she has been taught.

However, a case of mistaken identity leaves the two girls to challenge everything that they've ever known, including their relationship with one another.


I don't know if I would call this book as much of a dystopian as a satirical reflection. It is clear that McCafferty is trying to send a message here; her observations of current American society through the use of a futuristic one is spot on, and as a reader I was very eager to delve into more about it with every chapter. McCafferty's use of language remains masterful throughout the entirety of the book, and she has created numerous raps, jingles, and slang words to describe the indescribable in her book. Though some may find deciphering the slang difficult, I think it is an enjoyable challenge (think A Clockwork Orange, though not nearly as violent.)

I found Melody and Harmony to be a bit dreary as characters, and felt it hard to relate to either of them. Their very different revelations at the end came as a bit of a shock to me, seeing as neither one seemed willing to open up to themselves, others, or the reader as to what they really wanted out of life (again, until the very end.) Likewise, though the inside cover of the book describes Melody's attraction to her best friend Zen, we also do not see that emerge until the end of the book, making said feelings feel very rushed.

The secondary characters, including Lib (Melody's agent), Shoko (Melody's pregnant friend, who gladly carries her boyfriend's baby for the sake of scholarship money), and Ram (one of the many complicated reasons that Harmony left Goodside) help to paint the picture of a complicated society obsessed with only one thing, human reproduction, and are enjoyable to read about in and of themselves.

Overall, Bumped is a pleasurable (no pun intended) jaunt through what it means to be a teenager, to be a lover, and to be a sister.

(Amazon - Goodreads)

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