Melody has been groomed and polished into the perfect Surogette since the day she was adopted, and all the primping paid off when she was the first girl at her school to go pro. There's not a single blemish in her file -- except her twin sister Harmony. Surogettes are prized for their uniqueness, and if anyone finds out there's another girl in the world just like her, Melody can kiss her conception contract goodbye. Unfortunately, Harmony picks this perfect moment to show up at her door. Appearance aside, the two girls couldn't be more different. Harmony has grown up in Goodside, where the Church makes all the rules and girls marry at 13 rather than having premarital sex for money. But when a disastrous mix-up sends both their lives careening wildly out of control, the sisters may face the same fate after all.
Megan McCafferty is unflinching in her portrayal of an exploitative society run amok, thrusting readers headfirst into the thick of the tension. It is jarring to be dropped into this outrageous futuristic world, but before long readers will find themselves engrossed in the whirlwind of insanity. The novel alternates between two points-of-view: Melody and her twin sister Harmony. Their mental voices could not be more distinct, and yet the entire narration comes across in a quirky and robust voice.
Though the jargon is baffling for the first part of the novel, it serves to bring this world to life in an inescapable way. The connection between God and eroticism in Harmony's mind is disturbing, while the lingo of Melody's "breedy" world reflects the obsession with and vile economy of "bumping." It's hard to know which faction is the craziest. This world -- on both sides of the fence -- appears completely amoral, and there is something liberating about watching the chaotic "state of nature" take control. This kind of environment can only be sustained for so long before everything goes up in flames, and the climax of the novel is truly explosive. McCafferty never lets the reader be truly at ease, constantly reminding them of just how easily our own world could spin catastrophically out of control.
Bumped is a highly intelligent novel that takes a close psychological look at a culture of extremes, vividly illustrating the dangers of going too far in either direction. Though the answers may seem black and white, as the novel progresses readers will discover that neither heroine is quite that easily defined. McCafferty captures the gray area in this extreme world, and shows each sister's struggle with the rigid society in which she was raised.
This will undoubtedly be a controversial book, but it brings an original flavor to the dystopian market. Bumped will make readers uncomfortable, and it will make them think. McCafferty isn't afraid to take risks, and the result is something truly indescribable. Readers may love it or hate it, but they'll certainly never forget it.
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.
This novel will be released April 26, 2011. Click here to preorder Bumped by Megan McCafferty.
Come back this afternoon for my author interview with Megan McCafferty and giveaway of Bumped and Awaken!