Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Thumped (Bumped #2) by Megan McCafferty

Thumped (Bumped #2) by Megan McCafferty
Published: April 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Available: Amazon

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.

When I first read the blurb for Thumped, I was really expecting a different story, but I really like the way McCafferty took the book.

In Thumped, Harmony is struggling to take on the responsibility of her pregnancy while living in a male controlled religious community. She wants to understand the laws of her religion, but every question she asks just sets her apart more. Goodside is using the publicity around the "Double Double Due Date" to promote procreation for God and as a form of responsibility the youth need to take on.

Melody meanwhile has been playing a duel role. Everyone, including her parents and believe she is pregnant with Johndoe's twins, but she is really wearing a high tech fake baby bump. She and Zen are planning on a big reveal to take a stand for condoms and for non-procreating sex. But their plan is complicated when she finally meets the couple who have already paid for her "babies".

I enjoyed Bumped, but for me Thumped was much better, partly because there is a solid ending that I could live with. It might sound strange considering both books are told in alternating view points between the girls, but for me Bumped was much more Melody's story and looking at how media distorts our perceptions of what is acceptable, while Thumped is Harmony's and looks at how we value life and the responsibilities a baby brings with it.

Thumped is much less controversial than Bumped, probably because the world McCafferty has created is now established and not such a shock to the reader. but it's message is the same. These books are not meant to promote teen pregnancy, or make light of it. I see them as a comment on our current society and the way media and reality TV is skewing young peoples' minds into believing that teen sex and teen pregnancy are completely acceptable and desirable. Just look at the girls from all of those MTV shows, and how they are getting on the cover of magazines and on talk shows simply because they had babies in their teens. They are making money off the fact that they either weren't responsible enough to wait to have sex or that they didn't use protection.

Thumped does a good job of questioning birth parent's rights, adoption, and the true value of human life. About halfway through, the ending became predictable, but it was still satisfying.


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