Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

goodreads summary: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

My Review: I think the concept is great. To me, it’s a mix between The Girl who owned a City and Children of Men. I preferred reading Melody’s point of view, as Harmony’s was over-the-top preachy and I’ll be happy never hearing her say ‘Oh my Grace’ ever again. Everything about Harmony really irritated me, from her mannerisms to clothing to her thoughts that maybe, just maybe, she could convince Jondoe that procreating for money is morally wrong, and that she could come back and live with her in Goodside.

The writing was painful to get through, and having terms like “neggy,” “fertilicious,” “MiNet,” and “breedy” that didn’t make sense added to my annoyance. McCafferty made Melody and Harmony, as well as every other teenager in Otherside, completely obsessed with sex, pregnancy, and either being am/pro (amateur or professional).

My favorite character is Zen, and he is the one who makes me like this book. I understand that the book is a satirical dystopian YA novel, and she does convey the world very well, but because of the new words and the clever displacement of information, it was a bit challenging to get through. I’m really sold on the concept but even though I’m curious about what’ll happen in the sequel (THUMPED, 4/24/12) I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Dress Shopping

And in the end, through the sea of dresses, she found the one. The pearl that shined more than the rest. Shimmering in the sunlight, the pink dress of perfection had not one flaw, not one single rip. With a few discounts, the dress was within her price range. And as she signed the receipt and left the store, she felt she had the prize catch of the day.

Book Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt

goodreads summary: Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he’s there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

my review: A well-written coming-of-age story, Dana Reinhardt crafts a vivid first-person point of view story that delves into the interworks of friendships between mother and daughter and boy and girl. I liked her offbeat personality, accentuated by her pet rat, Hum, her clothing choices, and the family cheese shop.

What I was most looking forward to while reading the book was the deceased father’s Book of Lists. It’s an unusual way to learn about Drew’s father while creating an interesting plot point, but I was a bit irked that there wasn’t any conclusion to it at the end of the book. I think a confrontation between Birdie and her mother about the Book would’ve worked made the ending much more powerful.

I was immediately captured with the writing style. It wasn’t until toward the end when she and Emmett sneak away to the legendary spring that it became less believable to me. The fact that Swoozie (her mother’s friend) wouldn’t have noticed her missing while she was babysitting and the fact that Emmett was a runaway child placing so much emphasis on a legendary spring was a bit much for me. Emmett’s backstory was great, but the fact that his mother wouldn’t have looked for him and the fact that it seemed too good to be true took me out of the story.

Then, the epilogue really killed it for me. How could Drew not want to talk to Emmett after the incident at the spring? Why hadn’t Emmett contacted her after that point?

Overall, I give the book a 3/5. The writing is what saved it for me, but there needed to be a stronger ending.


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