THUMPED (Bumped #2)Megan McCafferty
Balzer + Bray
Available April 24th
Received from author for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)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.
MY THOUGHTSThumped returns us to a world that dropped our jaws when we initially encountered it in Bumped, and though we’re more prepared for it with this sequel, we find we’re no more comfortable with this future the second time around. Perhaps part of the reason Ms. McCafferty’s distorted reality is so unnerving is not because we can’t possibly imagine a time in which we’d view the sexual exploitation of our young men and women as necessary no matter how desperate our future selves might be, but rather because in many ways Harmony and Melody’s world is simply an exaggerated version of what has been historically accepted as the norm. In a not-so incredibly distant past women were forced into sexual relationships at shockingly young ages, passed from father to husband in business transactions meant to consolidate wealth and power through the begetting of heirs; their bodies used for procreation alone while the same cool indifference was given to their emotional state as this society gives to Melody and Harmony’s.
Recognizing that Ms. McCafferty’s sex-centric world with its Reproductive Professionals and its bumping contracts has a direct link to our reality if we follow the line of thinking from this future all the way back to our pasts is part of what makes both Bumped and Thumped so uncomfortably fascinating. However much we’d like to deny the potential for this society to exist, the connecting thread our minds can't help but draw between future and past simply refuses to be disregarded as pure fiction. Though Bumped and Thumped may be too over the top and too outrageous for some, it can be said that anyone reading will certainly not walk away from these books without an opinion on them–either positive or negative–thus making them worth reading for no other reason than they inspire a great deal of thought, introspection, and conversation.
While Melody, Harmony and Jondoe were extreme examples of their disparate upbringings in Bumped–completely foreign to us in the beginning with their different approaches to sex and intimacy–Thumped finds them all remarkably more tangible, each of them having moved slowly but inexorably to the center of the spectrum where independent thought thrives. Instead of simply living their lives in accordance with the tenets of their respective factions, they draw us deeper into their lives by questioning what they’ve been told is “right” and refusing to be a carbon copy of what their society considers ideal. While we don’t necessarily feel a visceral attachment to them, we can’t help but respect the changes we see in them from book one and throw our support behind them as they fight what seems like a losing battle.
Those who had trouble settling into Bumped due to the strange terminology and teenage slang so prevalent throughout will welcome the toned-down nature of Thumped, the use of sex-related witticisms and general sexual propaganda few and far between as the focus shifts to the characters themselves rather than the world. The one complaint to be had with this sequel is the seeming ease with which the main conflict gets resolved and the open-ended nature of the conclusion. We can appreciate the connection between the final pages of Thumped and the beginning pages of Bumped, the ending of Thumped presenting nothing but possibilities for each of the characters–a stark contrast to the rigid structure imprisoning them hundreds of pages prior–but at the same time we can’t help but want to know a bit more about the fallout resulting from actions taken in the last chapters as well as a few specifics as to what’s in store for their futures given no third book is on its way.