Book Review: “Bumped”

“Bumped” by Megan McCafferty

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Source: Library


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.


The premise of this world is what attracted me to the book. I thought it was an interesting idea and I wanted to see what the author would do with it. As I started reading I began to have so many problems with the book.

One: I didn’t think about it at first but these girls are basically prostitutes. They are having sex for cars, college scholarships, and anything else they could want. I really, really didn’t like that. Especially because of how young some girls were.

Two: One of the best parts of dystopian books is reading how the author imagines this different world along with the hows and whys of that world. It’s really never explained what this virus is and where it came from or anything like that. It’s just presented with no explanation. Then worst of all, the characters don’t really have a problem with the way things work. Everyone just accepts it and either goes with it or changes to a different lifestyle.

Three: [SPOILERS] I really, really, really had a problem with Harmony. At first I thought she was going to be a strong Christian character (which is so incredibly rare) but in the end, she essentially gives into peer pressure. Attention authors: not everyone gives into peer pressure! Where are characters with backbone?

Four: Yet another book that present religious people as “crazy” or “weird”. Obviously you have to be crazy to only want to have sex and have kids with your husband/wife, right? That’s basically how the book presented it.

For what little was shown about the future world, it was kind of cool. Actually a lot of the technology and some of the lingo reminded me of Feed.

Overall the story was okay. It did keep me engaged. I read it really fast. It wasn’t what I thought it would be though. I had really high hopes for the book but it didn’t meet those expectations.

Rating: 2.5/5

I really wasn’t impressed.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: “Bumped”

  1. Pingback: Runners up – Books that need a review « alchemyofscrawl

  2. I think this book showed the craziness of BOTH extremes. It does suggest that extreme religion creates a lot of pressure when there are no alternatives, and I completely related to Harmony’s frustration with her unanswered questions that no one in the community was willing to answer. BUT it also showed how crazy the other side — extreme non-religion — was. Like you said, it turned teenage girls into prostitutes. I don’t think the author was promoting either side of the coin. I think her point was that this world IS completely outrageous and not sustainable. I was upset about what happened to Harmony at the end though…

  3. Ooh, one more thing about the ending. I’m not sure it was giving in to peer pressure so much as showing how refusing to educate teens on important decisions they’ll face in their lives (in this case, sex) can really backfire. Harmony was unprepared for the choices she was faced with because no one in her community would talk to her about it. Keeping kids ignorant is not the way to keep them safe and prepared to make informed decisions. She was misguided, but she wasn’t really “giving in” — it was what she WANTED (or thought she did) in the moment.

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