Summary (From Amazon):
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to 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 Goodside, a religious community, 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.
My rating: 4 stars.
Sound familiar? Well, it will. Because it’s the one word main character Melody insists on repeating.
Aside from that minor annoyance, Bumped is well-constructed. Twins Melody and Harmony are so fleshed out, so detailed in their personalities, that you don’t automatically assume they’re weird, freakish futuristic people. They may be set in a world very different from ours, but they could easily be your friends.
Melody is the independent thinker in a conformist society that’s essentially forcing teenage girls to get pregnant. Harmony is the typical long-lost sister, coming from a different part of society that focuses on religion (Religious references are used often. They do not at all make the story feel preachy). Melody grows as a character, but I can’t say the same for Harmony. It really feels as though Melody tackles each of her problems and looks to resolve them, while Harmony’s just.. there. She’s a bit too fickle as a character, her thoughts and motives inconsistently changing; I didn’t know when to believe her, and that left me a bit estranged from her character.
As for their world, it’s very thought-out, with a clash of old and new. Girls are encouraged to become pregnant multiple times before they’re eighteen, guys act as nothing more than sex toys, and parents basically market their children to reproduce. The estrangement from the parents plays a weird role in Bumped. Melody’s parents appear to be over-protective and have her entire life planned. But midway through the novel, they drop off the radar and are never really mentioned again; this made some situations more unbelievable.
The writing is catchy and descriptive. The romance is a bit forced and somewhat unnatural in their setting. The ending doesn’t feel like an ending. But all in all Bumped is a fresh idea with a really good execution.