Thumped (Bumped #2)
Written by: Megan McCafferty
THE CONCLUSION TO ONE OF THE MOST TALKED-ABOUT NOVELS OF LAST YEAR
It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!
Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.
To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.
The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:
Tell the truth
Thumped follows up with the conclusion of the Bumped story, beginning close to nine months after the conclusion of the first book.
I’ll admit that I felt lost and confused at the start of the book, probably because I read the first one about nine months ago myself. Interesting timing, really. So here’s a primer of what I’d forgotten:
This dystopian world is one where adults cannot conceive and carry a pregnancy to viability due to what is simply known as a “virus”. We get no real information as to where the virus came from, how it is transmitted, or what exactly happens biologically. Shortly after reaching what we typically consider adulthood, the age of 18, people can just no longer father or mother children.
In order to continue our species, the burden in America now rests upon our youth. Teens are actually encouraged to procreate, adults happily adopt the babies. Enter the two new society classes: Professionals and non-professionals. Professionals sign contracts before conception and are often matched up with professional partners to “do the deed”. Non-professionals conceive with whomever they like in whatever way they like and hope someone will take the baby. Professionals can finance their college education and in some cases ensure they never need to work as an adult. They build their “brand”. Non-professionals take what they can get and hope it will at least pay for higher education. The plan, when the youth grow up they’ll adopt their own children from pregnant teenagers.
This two-book series definitely is not for the easily-offended or ultra-conservative. It very much deals with teen sexuality and how society looks at it. That said, it was interesting to see parallels to todays society and the issues we face with teen pregnancy. It will definitely make you think about things in a whole new manner.
The story follows a set of twins, separated at birth. Harony grows up in a very conservative and religious community where children are married off at a young age and encouraged to procreate right away with only their spouse. Melodie grew up privileged and about to face her first conception as a professional. Harmony runs away from her community at the thought of the arranged marriage and finds her sister just in time to really make a mess of the professional pairing.
And now you are up to speed to where Thumped begins. Though pregnant with someone else’s children, Harmony returns to her community to live with her husband and raise the twins she’s carrying even though her heart longs for their father. Outside of the community, Melodie fakes a mirror pregnancy, claiming the same father to build a brand and a fortune for the two sisters.
Or so it would seem if you only read the back flap. Really, the plan is in place to not only try to orchestrate a reunion between the teen parents, but to also bring down the societal model of forcing teenagers to procreate like bunnies.
What I liked: The entire language built for this world continued. That, to me, shows strong writing. I also really liked the way it made me think about society as a whole in regards to pregnancy, adoption, birth control, and abortion. It also really took a hard look at medical treatment which I found alarmingly not far off from today’s messed up medical paradigm. The final thing I liked was how both girls clung to a sense of virtue and morality that was not only unpopular, but even the government formed laws against said values. In a world where it is increasingly “normal” for people outside of marriage to have sexual relations at a younger and younger age, that really made me think. Teenagers already have enough peer pressure to become intimate, and there’s no government trying to facilitate it.
What I didn’t like: The first maybe quarter of the book sort of danced around the plans and seemed confusing to me. The rest of the book turned out just as strong as the first, but I kept needed to reread portions at first.
Overall, if you want a book to really make you think about the way society works, check out Bumped and Thumped. If you are in any way troubled at the discussion of teen sexuality, you might want to consider looking for something else.