Rhymenocerous – I was really excited about Bumped (HarperTeen 2011) because it had twins, a dystopian society, and a really good cover design.
Princess Consuela – Also, the reviews made it seem like it was going to be fan-bloody-tastic. Everyone was singing its praises.
R- I feel like I should have known. I didn’t realize until too late that McCafferty wrote the Jessica Darling series…I read the first three Jessica Darling books, and even though I felt like I should like them, I kind of hated Jessica. She was so whiny and full of herself. She thought she was too cool for school. But she wasn’t. (bonus points if you know what that’s from). Also–why is the Jessica Darling series always shelved in fiction instead of YA? That always bothers me. But anyway, back to Bumped. Melody reminded me a lot of Jessica Darling–as in–I hate her.
PC – I haven’t read Jessica Darling. Fortunately, this blog post is about Bumped, which I have read, and Rhymenocerous can take care of any necessary backlist comparisons. I was annoyed from the start by the sheer volume of lingo. As soon as you crack the book open you are accosted by “fertilicious,” “pregg,” “facespace,” and a whole host of other cutesy slang. It’s exhausting to plow through it all, and it really took me out of the story every time I was confronted with a new one. It rang false to me.
R- Oh getting snarky with me, Princess. Ok. I can handle it. Yes, my biggest complaint about the book is definitely the obnoxious language. Also, the constant song lyrics by Fed Double X or whatever they were called. Do you think they were supposed to be Britney Spears’ kids? I think she kind of alluded to that. Also-side bar–is it ok to eat a cookie I found in the floor of my car? I don’t think it’s been there long if that makes it any better.
PC – What kind of cookie are we talking about? If it’s something dumb like oatmeal raisin, I don’t think I’d risk it. If it’s, say, homemade chocolate chip, you might reconsider. Note to self: buy cookies. Anyway, I didn’t think about it being a Britney kid, but it makes sense. I think that K-Fed could definitely father someone who sings songs with ridiculous lyrics and has a bizarre tribute stage name. <insert cracked out example of your choice here> Also, can we talk about how the clunky lyrics of ALL of the songs they listen to describe how you should get knocked up? Surely there is some variety of music out there. Did protest music die out in favor of awkward brainwashing? Bob Dylan would be rolling over in his grave.
R- It was just a chocolate chip cookie from the Kroger bakery. I decided to pass because I’m pretty sure I stepped on it a few times already. Also–I know right? Why wouldn’t they have any other songs? I kept getting confused because on one hand McCafferty kept making it seem like teens getting pregnant was all the rage, and everyone did it, and wore fake bumps, and wrote horrible annoying songs about it, and then the next page would mention that only 12 girls in the school were pregnant and everyone was all judgy about it, and Harmony (or Melody? Let’s also talk about their annoying names) was pioneering the pregnancy thing at her school.
PC – I think Melody was the one running for president of the Pregnancy For All Club. Harmony was the twin who lived in the pseudo-polygamist compound. Because apparently society is completely polarized in this version of the near future (year 2035 or so, I believe) – you are either a uterus-for-hire or a color-coded-dress-wearing uber-religious commune dweller. No one falls in the middle. Seriously, where are the hippies in this scenario?? If anyone is destined to survive an infertility virus pandemic, you’d think that the free love folks would be at the top of the pyramid.
R- The dystopian world just never felt real or complete. And it’s never a good sign when you are hoping against all odds that there will be a surprise plot twist where all the characters are killed in a freak train accident. The whole book just felt unfinished to me. And there wasn’t even an attempt to give an ending. It might as well have ended with a “…to be continued!” in a dramatic font.
PC – But there IS another one, right? I think she’s working on a sequel, heaven help us. Prepare for another visual assault of cutesy names for technology that embeds the internet in your eyes. Or something. I could never figure out how that MiNet malarkey was supposed to work. All that winking and blinking makes my eyes glaze over.
R- What else is there really to say about it? I feel like maybe she wrote an outline on a cocktail napkin and then had interns fill in the rest. Don’t buy it!
PC- Yeah, it’s a library book for sure. But, hey, you may like it. I think we’re the only ones who don’t. This thing has positive reviews out the wazoo. And I might get the next one from the library to see where this crazy train goes.
R- I know…I hate that about myself. I know I am going to read the next one, if only just to complain about it
PC – Well, we can crab about it to each other while the rest of the world raves about the wonder that is Bumped 2: Further Dramatic Adventures of a Uterus-for-Hire and Her Knocked-Up Twin.