Book review by Aarene Storms: Bumped

Friday, June 22, 2012


Bumped by Megan McCafferty
In this up-tempo dystopian novel, teen pregnancies are not only normal, they are vital.

A virus renders everyone over the age of 18 infertile, making teen pregnancy essential for the survival of humanity. Humanity has responded to the crisis by dumping societal norms upside-down, and now pregnant teens and pre-teens are considered the apex of beauty and the center of importance.  Children and pre-adolescents play at "bumping", young girls wear "MyTurn Tees" and and Preggerz FunBumps (with real skinfeel and in-uterobic activity!), and 16-year-old twins Melody and Harmony have only two years remaining until obsolesence. 

Melody is a contracted pro-pregger, who has signed with an agent to produce a very expensive delivery that will pay for a top-notch college as well as her adoptive parents' debts.  Harmony, raised in a conservative Amish-esque community, has run away from her adoptive family to bring her newly-found twin into a state of grace with God.

Absolutely nothing goes as planned.

The twins trade the narration back-and-forth as the situation gets increasingly complicated.  Fun slang and the twist on cultural values almost mask important messages about teen sexuality, sibling rivalry, religious tolerance, and the difficulty of living a life different from the life that parents and society expect.

Lots of talk about sex and sexual situations, but nothing happens on the page. Recommended for readers ages 14 to adult. This book would be interesting to discuss and contrast to Libba Bray's Beauty Queens.

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS 

1 comments:

Anonymous,  June 22, 2012 at 9:01 AM  

I'm surprised by how often I've read books based on Aarene's reviews--and I'm an adult. I'm currently reading Cinder now, and just put Bumped on hold at my local library. This is one of my favorite sections of this blog. Thanks, Aarene!

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