Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

 In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, 16-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

 Megan McCafferty is the author of BUMPED, a satirical dystopian YA novel published by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins. She also wrote the bestselling Jessica Darling series: SLOPPY FIRSTS, SECOND HELPINGS, CHARMED THIRDS, FOURTH COMINGS and PERFECT FIFTHS.

Megan edited a short story anthology called SIXTEEN: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday. She has contributed to several fiction and nonfiction anthologies including DEAR BULLY, MY LITTLE RED BOOK, DOES THIS BOOK MAKE ME LOOK FAT? and EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, including German, Chinese and Hungarian.

THUMPED, the sequel to BUMPED, is on sale 4/24/12.

 My Review:

Where to start?

In most dystopian/Utopian/parallel/"what if?" books, there are certain things that really ruin the story for me. Oddly enough, this had none of them.

The first being: new slang words. Usually I find myself tripping over the new world's slang, and feeling frustrated because it took that much time away from being completely immersed in the story. With Megan's book, the new words--"MiNet," "Neggy," "Fertilicious," even, were right in time with the rest of the story. They weren't overused, and actually helped us see what the characters were feeling. (As with Melody, instead of just smiling because she feels good, trying to fool everyone into thinking she's doing fine by saying "fertilicious.")

The second: being predictable. I had an idea of how the book was going to go by the second chapter. By the third, that idea changed. And then it kept changing with each new chapter until eventually I gave up trying to predict what was about to happen. I LOVE not being able to predict the end of a book.

Also, switching point of views: More often than not, I actually love when authors switch point of views with each chapter. The only time I didn't like it was the summer of sixth grade, reading a book titled 'Flipped' in which you literally had to flip the book upside down at the end of the book to read the other person's version of the story. Needless to say, Megan manages to switch the points of view gracefully and seamlessly, earning her a spot on my top YA authors list. I'll definitely be looking out for Thumped when it comes out.

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