07 julho 2011

Review: Bumped (Megan McCafferty)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2011)
Format:  Hardcover | 323 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Satire
Description (Goodreads): "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.
From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable."
I honestly don't know what to write about this. It was a strange read.
The author tried to write a satire of some sort about current social views on teenagers and sex and in part, I think she was successful. But somehow the ending didn't convince me. It didn't seem to drive the point across strongly enough. But that may be because this is only the first book in a series

In the near future, twins Melody and Harmony have been separated at birth and sent to live in two very different homes. Melody grew up with progressive parents who groomed her to be a perfect professional "Surrogette". Harmony lands in the middle of a religious community that thinks teens should be married if they are to have children.
And now you're thinking: teens having children? Well, yes. Because in this near- future, a mysterious virus makes everyone over the age of 18 infertile. So teens are every one's only hope; if nowadays teens are celebrities because they are actors and singers in the world written by McCafferty they are famous for their genetic traits and capacity to "bump" and "pregg" effectively.

Two worlds collide when Harmony appears on Melody's doorstep.

Reading this was... an experience. I liked her satirical representation of the many hot and controversial issues that plague our society, like sex and pregnancy among teens. I liked how McCafferty cleverly built her world to represent a completely different reality from ours that strangely enough seems to have some of the same problems.

As far as satires go, I think it was well written enough, but for some reason I just didn't love it. I think it would appeal more if I was a teenager, but it wasn't just that. While the book was supposed to make a point by hyperbolizing characters and situations, I sometimes felt like it was too much... even for a satire. I really don't know how to explain this better, sorry.

Overall: while the author did a good job at getting her points across by writing about a future that focus on most of our taboo subjects, I think the narrative lacked... sophistication sometimes. Not to mention it was fairly predictable. So I did like "Bumped" but I think I'd have liked it more if I was its target readership.

2 comentários:

p7 disse...

I see now why this one is being a bit controversial in the US. Some people like to pretend that teens don't have sex.

I'll add it to the wishlist, I'm interested in the satire part of it. ;)

Laura disse...

I got really interested on this book, mainly because of the cover LOL but the story looks interesting.
I guess I understand what you mean with the satire being a little bit too much. Sometimes it happens that we understand the satire but it feels so unecessary to put it in those specific terms; it feels over the top. I feel a little bit that way with Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (which, somehow, is worst than you feeling the same way with Bumped, because apparently everybody likes Kafka ._.)