13 August 2011

Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Summary: Sometime after the year 2020, a worldwide virus has made women over the age of 18 infertile, which means that the uteruses (uteri?) of teenage girls are a seriously hot commodity.  Girls with boyfriends and the proper genetic makeup can sell their newborns to the highest bidder. Or they can turn pro, which means they contract out their uterus (occasionally even their virginity) to wealthy prospective parents when they're as young as 13 to earn enough money to pay for a great college so that they'll have a good job and can pay for someone else to bear their children when their time comes. 

Add to this interesting little world a beautiful and intelligent girl like Melody, whose (adoptive) parents raised her to be their little money maker, sparing no expense for specialized training in languages, arts, sciences, sports so that when the time comes, she will land the most lucrative pregnancy contracts to keep her parents living in the style to which they have been accustomed.  There's only one flaw in their plan: her identical twin named Harmony, separated at birth and raised by an uber-conservative Christian movement, wants to save Melody from her contract of sin. 

Sounds intriguing, no?  I certainly thought so, at least until I actually read the book.  What begins with a smart premise and the potential to be an excellent satire mostly just fizzles out with too many undeveloped plot twists, not enough writerly commitment to any of the "causes," and dialogue that is mostly insipid.  At a time when pop culture is devoted to spotting baby bumps on celebrities and there is a reality TV show depicting pregnant teens, all while Teabaggers (no, I won't call them Tea Partiers. they earned their stupid moniker) seem hell-bent on separating a woman's rights from her own body, this could have been a book of both importance and pertinence.  Instead, it was like a light sorbet--fine, if that's what you're looking for, but not a satisfying replacement for something more substantive.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post. I had been tempted by this book at one time. I trust you to guide my reading habits.


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