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Thumped (Bumped) Hardcover – April 24, 2012
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
“A sparkling, imaginative romp that is nevertheless plenty provocative.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The well-paced plot and the twins’ alternating narratives will keep readers engaged …. A worthwhile read.” (School Library Journal)
Praise for BUMPED: “McCafferty proves that dystopias don’t have to be dreary to be provocative.” (Publishers Weekly)
Praise for BUMPED: “Sure to keep [readers] thinking.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Praise for BUMPED: “BUMPED is brilliant, innovative, and slightly terrifying. Megan McCafferty delivers!” (Carolyn Mackler, author of TANGLED and the Printz-Honor-book, THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS)
Praise for BUMPED: “Megan McCafferty has conceived a hilarious, touching, truly original novel, told in her trademark, spot-on voice. Readers of every age will delight in this new arrival.” (Rachel Cohn, bestselling author of NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST)
Praise for BUMPED: “Bumped has it all: a fascinating yet frighteningly believable world, seamless world-building, great humor, and sophisticated word play. The book will start many a discussion and, alas, raise more than a few eyebrows. I suspect the mothers will like it just as much as the daughters. Bumped is the ‘breediest’ novel of the year.” (Gabrielle Zevin, author of ELSEWHERE)
From the Back Cover
It's been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. Since then, their story has become irresistible to legions of girls: twins separated at birth and living different lives, each due to deliver sets of twins . . . on the same day! In a future where only teens can "bump," or give birth, babies mean money, status, and freedom.
Married to Ram and living in religious Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once loved and believed in. But she can't seem to forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell in love with under the strangest of circumstances.
To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything she always wanted: a big, fat contract and a coupling with Jondoe, the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.
Cursed by their own popularity, the girls are obsessively tracked by their millions of fans, who have been eagerly counting down the days to their "Double Double Due Date." Without a doubt, they are two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and there's only one thing they could do that would make them more famous than they already are:
Tell the truth.
Top customer reviews
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Thumped is much more fast-paced than Bumped was. The events take place over a couple of days. I was shocked at the way Harmony’s community treated her. But that’s how things go when you fear things that do not conform to your ideals/thoughts. Melody is the one that I think grows the most in this story. She struggles with what the right and wrong thing to do is. Guilt eats at her, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it.
I like the direction the book went. The characters want to make a change with how things are done. They don’t want teenagers to feel like they have to get pregnant. The morality of exploiting young people is a big presence in this book. I think the author did a great job of portraying this. The only thing that I don’t think was hashed out well is the ending. Things just kind of leave off, and we don’t know if things change, or stay the same.
Overall, Thumped is an interesting read, and speaks to the sociologist in me.
The action is fast and gripping with short chapters that make the book fly by. Told in the alternating viewpoints of Melody and Harmony, we see the twins rebel against a system that uses young girls' bodies as baby making factories. There are romances and deep family bonds as well as revealed secrets as the story unfolds; I especially like how the book ends because it seems like a realistic way to bring the story to a close. The absence of any adult with common sense takes away a level of believabiltiy, but overall this book is just as engaging and fun as the first. Definitely an enjoyable read!
Thumped picks up eight and a half months after Bumped ended. Harmony has returned to Goodside, the religious compound that she called home prior to decamping to Otherside to find her identical twin sister, Melody. Harmony didn't leave alone, however; she is pregnant with twin girls. Meanwhile, back in Otherside, Melody, thanks to ALTERR (Artificial Living Tissue Engineered for Reproducing Reproduction), is "mocked up." ALTERR is a fake womb that simulates pregnancy so realistically that it fools even doctors. Babies show up on an ultrasound, even though Melody isn't pregnant. But she's pretending to be, and helping her out is Jondoe, the true Baby Daddy of Harmony's twins and the faux Baby Daddy of Melody's.
With me so far? It really isn't as confusing as it sounds.
Also along is Zen, Melody's soulmate, who wants to wage war against in what he calls The Mission: "protesting against the culture of reproductive profiteering." Zen, for all of his zealotry, is a likable boy, and Melody struggles with the intensity of her feelings for him. They are both virgins, in Melody's case not for a lack of trying and heavy marketing of her womb, and Zen more due to a dogged determination that his sperm not be used against him.
The message of Thumped echoes that of Bumped. We are in danger of living in a world where teen pregnancy, which already elevates some girls to celebrity status, will consume us to the point that we, like Melody's parents, Ash and Ty, are willing to whore out our children to procreate. As Melody observes, "Our whole world has gone ... baby crazy. ... That's what we're dealing with here. Not bumps or pregs or deliveries. Or whatever other euphemism you want to use to distance yourself from the truth. We're making babies. We're creating people. And we're having meaningless sex to do it! And yet we pretend like it's no big deal. We pretend we aren't in the business of buying and selling human beings."
Part of Melody's enlightenment as to the terrible nature of "pregging" is due to the Jaydens, the couple paying for the twins she supposedly is carrying. Melody is drawn to them. Her gut instinct is that they would make great parents, and she truly would like to help them out in that regard. But Melody is not the one who is pregnant, and Harmony is back with her husband, Ram, in Goodside.
This is a fantastic satire of what we have become and the potential of what we could be, if we continue to prize celebrity over actual accomplishment. Parts of this are guffawingly funny, and parts might meld your cold hard heart just a little. When Ram makes a life changing announcement, I admit that I didn't know whether to applaud him or laugh at the silliness of the reactions he received. Again, we buy into a celebrity culture based on nothing but toothpicks in the sand.
My biggest complaint about Thumped is its ease. What made Bumped so intriguing is that it asked us to examine that side of us that buys People magazine and reads articles about Jamie Lynn Spears' teen pregnancy (color me guilty) or watches reality television about teen mothers. As a high school teacher, I see so many girls get pregnant during the very years they should be free from that enormous responsibility, so Bumped gave me a lot to think about and consider. Thumped is not as challenging. The "bad guys" are much easier to spot, and the debate is more clear cut. There isn't a lot of controversy or conflict here as far as the book's message. Oh, sure, Melody and Harmony find themselves in a pickle, and the men in their lives alternately assist and provoke them, but there is no mystery as to what Megan McCafferty wants us to take away from her novel. I think I miss that.
Still, though, Thumped is a good follow-up to its predecessor. Melody and Harmony's voices are strong. We can see the confused teenaged girls in them. What is the right thing to do? What do we owe our parents? What do we owe God? And what do we owe ourselves? Melody confronts this with poignancy. She knows she's too young to be a mother, but this is her last chance before the virus renders her infertile.
And that is why I want a third book. Part of me would like the romance of a happy ending. There is a cure! Melody can have a baby when she's older! The Jaydens can have a baby! Harmony can have a baby! Teenage girls can go back to being teenage girls! Teenage boys no longer have to compete against each other for Most Desirable Sperm!
But McCafferty has said that this is it. She always envisioned two books, Bumped and Thumped, and the story is over. Even so, she leaves us with a topic worth of thought and discussion. Let's not disappoint her, shall we?
I was reluctant to read it. I didn't like Bumped, not one bit. I even threw it across the room when I finished the last page (yes, I put myself in time-out after that).
After reading Thumped, I see that I just didn't get Bumped. I read it at a point of my life that wasn't the best time to read a book about kids and babies and infertility and all that. I get that now. Let's just call it bad timing on my part.
This week I read Thumped and really appreciated it. I laughed and cried in all the right places. I got the clever use of language and appreciated how Megan McCafferty created this super believable, yet terrifyingly realistic, world in the not too distant future where all of this could totally happen. I loved all the language and creative names of everything. So clever! She also expertly crafted a fun read that calls attention to serious issues. That is no easy task. I won't get political or talk religion, but I do appreciate her attention to both and the way Bumped & Thumped will get some people thinking about things in a way they may not have before. To accomplish that in a way that is both nonthreatening & entertaining is super impressive! I also loved the familiar references to Princeton, NJ (very close to where I grew up). So fun!
I don't think I need to re-read Bumped, but I do have a new appreciation and respect for both books now!
I give them both 5 Blings!