A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for ‘conception contracts’ with the prettiest, healthiest and cleverest girls - cash, college tuition and liposuction in exchange for a baby.
Sixteen-year-old Melody is gorgeous, athletic and has perfect grades, and has scored an amazing contract with a rich couple. And she’s been matched with one of the most desirable ‘bumping’ partners in the world - the incredibly hot, genetically flawless Jondoe.
But Melody's luck is about to run out. She discovers she has a sister - an identical twin, Harmony, who has grown up in a religious community opposed to the idea of ‘pregging’. Harmony believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful plans. Melody doesn’t have time for this – she can’t wait to meet Jondoe and seal the deal. But when he arrives and mistakes Harmony for Melody, everyone’s carefully-laid plans are swept out of control – and Melody and Harmony are about to realise they have so much more than just DNA in common.
** What I thought **
I’m sad to say this book just wasn’t for me. For the first few chapters, I felt really disconnected from it all (characters and storyline). I think this was mainly to do with me being vaguely confused about what on earth was going on! There was too much futuristic slang, which I can see why some people would find funny, but for me it was just too much! Perhaps I’m getting old, but it was confusing and lacked explanation. I can’t cope with words like MiNet, MiChatting, pregg(ing), fertilicious and bumped being thrown round without too much context. I mean, I get it now, but it was hard work.
After that initial confusion, I have to admit I was hooked and read the rest of the book in one sitting, mainly because I had to know where on earth this was going to end up. Dystopian YA are very on trend at the moment, and admittedly this is one with an edge to it and a very unique concept. However, I think a bit like marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it!
This book is obviously set in the future, but it isn’t until page 126 that you’re told which year (2036!!). This annoyed me, I wanted more background; when it’s set and perhaps how this virus came to be?
I didn’t relate to or particularly feel anything for the characters (Melody or Harmony; twins) but I did love Melody’s best friend Zen. He was genuine and I liked him – I hope he features heavily in the sequel Thumped.
The premise is good (a virus which has causes everyone over the age of 18 to become infertile) but for me the book itself is just too unbelievable. When you really sit and think about it, it’s actually quite uncomforting that humanity would be buying and selling babies; giving young girls the incentive to have a child on somebody else’s behalf. It essentially plays on the premise of surrogacy but takes it a million times further than what we know as surrogacy today. I’m not sure exactly what message McCafferty was trying to portray, and that bothered me. Yes, it's taking teen pregnancy to an extreme but for me in way which wasn't particularly comfortable to read!
The ending is cliff-hanger-esque indicating a sequel and indeed Thumped is due to be released on April 24th 2012. Although I took quite a major dislike to this book at the start, I have to admit, I'm more than intrigued to see where McCafferty takes the sequel!
Perhaps for those of you who are loving your dystopian YA novels at the moment, and can cope with the futuristic, slightly unnerving premise of this, it will fare a little better!
Available in Paperback and Kindle Edition on Amazon.co.uk