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A Reader of Fictions: (You're) Having My Baby - Glee

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, April 24, 2011

(You're) Having My Baby - Glee

Bumped, Book 1

Megan McCafferty
Review Copy Acquired From:
Balzer + Bray via NetGalley

Brief Summary:

In a world where people over the age of 18 are almost all struck by HPSV, Human Progressive Sterility Virus, it falls to teens (and sometimes younger) to give birth to the next generation. The current system in Otherside works kind of like our Social Security. The young folks pay for (aka have babies for) the older generation. Later, when they grow up and cannot have children of their own, they pay young folks for a child.

In this world, genetics are everything, if you want to be a professional Pregger like Melody. She is on track to rake in the money on her first, and, possibly only, pregg, assuming the people who have purchased the as yet unborn baby ever choose a mate (RePro- Reproductive Professional) for her. Everything gets thrown into chaos with the arrival of her identical twin sister, Harmony, who, separated at birth, was raised in Goodside, the religious community where most girls are married off at 13 to produce God-fearing children.

One of my faults as a reader is that I do not always do enough research on the books I am about to read. I look at the covers, maybe quickly skim a review or even just glance at some keywords. For Bumped, I saw that Presenting Lenore loved it and that it was a dystopia and knew that I had to read it. I failed to look into the plot at all, so I was incredibly appalled to realize, as perhaps the cover should have indicated to me, that this book would be all about pregnancy.

Everyone always tells me I will grow out of my lack of interest in children, which, though I doubt it, is technically possible. Even if I do, though, I will never look on pregnancy as anything which I would desire to experience, so, understandably, the first sentence completely horrified me: "I'm sixteen. Pregnant. And the most important person on the planet." Good lord, save me (only not in Harmony's way either). A world where a teen girl would have to choose between not going to college, pregnancy and a religious commune, which means babies anyway, is completely not okay.

The first half or so of the book I mostly hated. Melody and Harmony's narration was filled with their weird programming, all yay babies or Jesus, which is so not my thing. Then, as they learn more about the world, they start growing into real people with thoughts and opinions. Plus, I always liked Zen. There are some hilarious puns, even if they are baby-centered, such as a RePro doing some "pro boner work" (151). The description of the library made me sad, but at least it still existed. The book also had some great quotes; I share below two of my favorites, one from each twin.

Harmony: "I also know that you can find a verse to support just about any argument, and another verse to shut it down. If it's all the word of God, how can we simply ignore the parts that don't fit our beliefs?" (182)

Melody: "All of our ancestors, and all of our descendants, are coming together to celebrate this kiss, to clap and fist-pump and foot-stomp and shout out loud to the universe YES! YES! A million billion years of YESSSS!" (236)

After an unfortunate start, this turned out to be a really interesting read. I am actually glad this time that I did not look further into the plot, or I would have missed this surprisingly good read.

"The need inside you I see it showin'
Oh, t
he seed inside you
Baby, d
o you feel it growin'
Are you happy in knowin' that you're having my baby? "

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Blogger Bea Tejano said...

I was also fortunate enough to get an ARC of this book:) I think a lot of people misinterpreted this book. Although it was set in a far of future, its more satirical than it is dystopian. It reflects how society today sees teenage pregnancies. But most importantly even with the dystopian background, at the root of it all its a novel about making choices and decisions for yourself:)

I hope you get the chance to read her Jessica Darling novels! Those were my favorites:)

December 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM  

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