Monday, September 5, 2011

The Book Addict Reviews: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Order Online:
Author Info:  Website | Goodreads
Rating: 1 star
Borrowed this book from the library.

In A Nutshell:
If I had to put my thoughts about Bumped into a single word, that word would be under-whelmed.  There was not a lot about this book that I liked.  I thought the characters were superficial and annoying who only gained any depth or interest in the last 20 pages of the book.  I had misgivings about the concept from the beginning, but the cheery, happy tone of the book felt out of place in a dystopian novel and heightened my misgivings even more. 

In Bumped, a virus renders adults over the age of about 19 unable to have children.  So to keep the population from going extinct, a market system has been created where teenagers have children who are then sold or given to older couples to raise. 

I struggled with the idea of teens having children and a market system for babies, but I was optimistic that there was something left out of the blurb that would make this storyline less repugnant to me.  I did not find that.  Instead, I found a cheery, happy tone of the story that seemed very out of place in a dystopian novel.

This cheery tone led the reader through a world that was never fully explained.  Elements and hints of elements were dropped in random places, but very little of the background was explained.  What is this virus?  Where did this virus come from?  How does the MiVu system work?  What are all of these tests that the teens have to take to show prospective parents how valuable their children will be?

This cheery tone attempted to mask the variety of unappealing messages that I found in the book, such as the blatant and sanctioned prejudice based on superficial characteristics.  If you are short--you are not worthy.  Or the messages about sex.  I get that this book is fictional, but saying that teens should have sex to have babies and that sex with condoms is evil does not seem like a good thing to me. 

Then the end of the book came and I found the cliffhanger.  Yep, this one is going to be a series.  Will I read the next one?  I cannot decide.  I was so under-whelmed and unimpressed with this book, but at the end I finally felt a connection to the characters.  I finally cared a little about what happened to them, and now I will not know what happens to them unless I read the next book.  But after over 100 pages where I did not care, I am not sure that the connection I felt in the last 20 or so pages will really lead me to read the next book.  I guess I will have to wait until the next book is released. 

My friends swear that Megan Mccafferty's Jessica Darling series is much better than Bumped.  So I am going to take them at their word and try this series to see what I think:
Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling NovelSecond Helpings (Jessica Darling, Book 2)

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