Cover of Bumped, featuring a gray egg with the book title on it

About the Book

Title: Bumped (Bumped #1)
Published: 2011
Series: Bumped
Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Cover Story: Nothing To Cry About
BFF Charm: Eventually and Nay
Talky Talk: Not To Neg, But These Words Are Making Me Terminal
Bonus Factors: Satiric Dystopia, Celebrity Sperm, Lib
Relationship Status: Just Friends

Cover Story: Nothing To Cry About

Sure, this cover makes me hungry for omelets, which in turn makes me feel weird because it’s about HUMAN eggs, but besides that, this clean and simple design is nothing to be ashamed about.

The Deal:

Oh man, I’m about to have SO MUCH FUN explaining the premise of this book to y’all. Remember back in 2008 when there were all of those news stories about the supposed pregnancy pact made by high school girls in Massachusetts? And how they were all, “It’s so cool to be a teen mom!” And now there’s even a show about it! Because lord knows there’s nothing that makes you feel more self-righteously entertained than watching people deal with the consequences of their poor decisions. Yay!

So, Megan McCafferty uses this whole teen pregnancy issue to create a hilarious and ridiculous (or is it?!) world where teen moms are, like, the new celebrity. After a virus spreads across the world and renders women infertile, teenager girls are recruited to be surrogate mothers. Lauded for serving their country, these teens are rewarded with college money, cars and a whole lot of popularity. Being pregnant is THE thing to do, and stores even sell faux bellies for tweens–the equivalent of training bras for having a baby.

In order to full capitalize on this market, Melody’s parents have raised her to be the perfect surrogate. She’s gorgeous, healthy, extremely well-rounded and, most important, totally pure. While other girls lose their contracts from messing around and getting bumped (i.e. pregnant) by random guys, Melody is focused on sealing the deal with whoever the adoptive family chooses, which will probably be one of the pros. Because yes, in this world, certain sperm is coveted, and the donors (referred to as “man brands”) are worshiped more than Justin Bieber. In fact, in this society, Justin Bieber would TOTALLY be a–ok, whoah, I’m sorry, I don’t know why my brain insists on being SO CREEPY.

Anyhoo, Melody’s determined to stick to her perfect path, even if it means ignoring her growing crush on Zen, her best friend. She’s worked hard and prepared for everything–everything, that is, except the arrival of her twin sister, Harmony. Separated at birth, these girls have experienced completely opposite lives, with Harmony growing up in the church and raised to believe that professional pregging is wrong. Harmony is determined to save her sister and bring her back to the church, and Melody is equally as determined to carry out her end of the contract. Trust me, if you thought the Wakefield twins had issues, just wait until you meet these two sisters…

BFF Charm: Eventually and Nay

BFF Charm with a sweatband on

I’ll be honest. For the first half of the book, I didn’t like Melody OR Harmony. Melody’s focus on her pregnancy contract made her a total biotch to everyone, even the people she supposedly cared about, like Zen. And when she saw her sister for the first time, like, EVER, she just treated her like shizz. But by the end, I could see that Melody was hiding a whole lotta conflict inside, and it just took her a while to unpack it. So girl, I want you to know that if you need help carrying your emotional baggage, I’m here! And by that I mean, I can tip the bellboy!

BFF Charm that says "denied"

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for Harmony. GAH SHE JUST ANNOYED ME SO MUCH. I mean, look, I grew up in the church, and I get the whole “I was raised to believe blah blah blah” thing. It’s not Harmony’s fault that she’s so sheltered and quotes Bible verses all of the time. But even though I got to be inside her head, I didn’t see any layers of meaning develop like I did with Melody. Harmony was basically an evangelical caricature throughout the entire book, and while she could’ve made it cool by pulling a few Mandy Moore Bible-smacking moves, she just decided to STAY LAME.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

I realize I’m stating the obvious here, but it needs to be said. Y’all, this is NOT a Jessica Darling book. It’s something totally different, and while I applaud McCafferty for going in a crazy fun direction, I MISS YOU MARCUS FLUTIE. Ok, I just had to get that out of my system. Sorry.

This book is the first in a series of two, so I imagine that the swoon will build into a higher score for the sequel. In Bumped, there’s not much romance, which makes sense, since sex has become a commodity. And not for pleasure, NAY, but for makin’ babies. You guys they even outlawed condoms! WHAT! With that said, there are a few sweet moments between Melody and Zen, and the book left me wanting to get to know Zen much, much better. Like, between the sheets better.

Talky Talk: Not To Neg, But These Words Are Making Me Terminal

Ok, shizz is about to get REAL. Now, y’all know we love slang here at FYA. In fact, we probably abuse it, much to the dismay of certain high school English teachers (Sorry Dr Williams!). So this is probably one of those pot & kettle situations, but Kettle, there are FAR too many made-up words in your book. Sure, I enjoyed the cleverness of some of the terms, and I’m gonna use the hell out of “terminal” (ex: I just realized I’m out of champ cans and I’M BEYOND TERMINAL.) but there were too many times while reading this book when I felt like my mom trying to figure out the verb form of Twitter (“Twittered? Twitted?”). I love that McCafferty wanted to add all of these fun details to more fully develop her world, but sometimes they only served as a detriment. Made-up phrases and terms should be there to pull you deeper into the story, not pull you out to think, “Oh, ok, I see what she did there! That’s clever!”

Bonus Factor: Satiric Dystopia

McCafferty obviously had a field day with the teen pregnancy topic, and we all benefit from her enjoyment. While I hope that I never live in a world with stores called Babiez R U that sell “Preggerz FunBumps,” it was a riot to see human weaknesses lampooned in such a zany, completely over the top manner. This is rare in YA fiction, especially since dystopia usually means GLOOM & DOOM.

Bonus Factor: Celebrity Sperm

Oh, girl, you KNOW that if bumping went pro, Old Spice Guy would be the #1 MAN BRAND. Seriously, though, this whole superstar sperm thing cracked my shizz up, and JonDoe, one of the leading brands, was all the reason I need to want this book turned into a movie. Dude is HYSTERICAL.

Bonus Factor: Lib

Lib is Melody’s RePro (Reproductive Professional), which basically means he’s her pregnancy agent. And even though he’s only in the book for a few pages, he is hands down my favorite character. His cartoony persona is the perfect fit for the book’s style, and he makes me wish McCafferty had gone balls to the wall cray instead of trying to balance the satire with a serious, heartfelt story. He’s like a combo of Ari from Entourage, Mugatu, and Tiny Cooper. He talks in ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME and is more jittery than a chihuahua. Here’s an example, in which he’s telling Melody about the man brand deal he just struck for her:

“Where are you in your cycle? Oh, WHO CARES? Let’s get you two BUMPING right away. We don’t want another trimester to go by with a FLAT TUMMY. And not to put any pressure on you or anything, but it would be just BREEDY if you could deliver the goods by next February. The Jaydens have an interest in zodiacology. Remember how I negotiated that bonus for delivering an Aquarius? Another stroke of BRILLLLLLIANCE!”

I mean, I can just imagine Lib telling Melody to DO HIM A FAVOR AND LOSE FIVE POUNDS IMMEDIATELY.

Relationship Status: Just Friends

I had a blast hanging out with this book! It’s clever, it’s funny, and it’s not afraid to be silly. I’m a little worried that it wants something more out of our relationship, and while I like it, it just doesn’t give me that tingly feeling, you know? We have a great time together, but I don’t feel a real emotional connection between us. So while we’ll never bump, I do hope we can keep palling around together, especially so I can see what happens when this book’s sequel rolls into town.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Megan McCafferty. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). 

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.