Author: Megan McCafferty
Series: 1st in Bumped
Published: Available now from Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
I was both intrigued and a little appalled by this book. The idea seemed very interesting, and I was curious as to how it was to be presented. I wasn't sure if it was going to be a more "cutesy" novel or have a more sinister feel.
I really liked Melody. Take out the pregnant story line and you have the typical story of a teen who is pushed to hard by her parents to be perfect. Her parents have forced so many think of her to make her well rounded. But, nothing she does seems good enough. She's constantly belittled with comments that bring her down. I like that she's doesn't seem to behave in the typical fashion of the other character throughout this book. You can see that she wants to be more than what she's been limited to.
I felt the same way about Harmony. As identical twins, they are alike in so many ways. Both want more than what has been given to them. But, it's never in a selfish way that makes you dislike them. Harmony never seems resentful that she's had a harder life than Melody. I never thought Harmony's only goal was to bring Melody to the Goodside. She just had to admit it to herself first.
I also enjoyed Zen. He's a great compliment to Melody's character. He's genuinely caring. It's funny that in most other books he would be the "it" guy. But, he's short. So in this story, that one characteristic is his downfall. But his heart more than make up for his stature. He will do anything for Melody. That dedication flows out to Harmony as well. I was so glad that Melody was able to see his redeeming qualities.
With such great characters and a light quirky story, you would think I enjoyed this more than the 3 rating I gave it. Sadly, I thought the actual idea of teen surrogates as presented in this book wasn't all that great. I was ok with IV insemination, etc for teens. I wasn't overly found that for official pregging, teens actually had sex with whoever was procured for them. It took the intimacy out of the act and I wonder how it effected those who had done it later in the their life with their partners. I really disliked how parents would basically pimp out their daughters for money, fame, etc. Melody's parents made sure she was flawless so she could have her college paid for, a new car, and a 6 figure bonus. A teen would get pregnant on purpose with her boyfriend and then sell the baby to the highest bidder. The idea didn't sit well with me.