Apparently I’m fascinated by the genre of fertility dystopias, and so when I discovered Bumped and it’s sequel, Thumped, I put them on my TBR list immediately. After finally digging into them, I’m fascinated even more so by this burgeoning genre. When I say fertility dystopias I’m talking about books where the “crazy change” in the world is the lack of fertility among normal women, such as in The Handmaid’s Tale or in The Black Key series. Anyway, Bumped and Thumped are definitely YA novels, but they’re strangely addicting and the story felt fresh and interesting the whole way through.
In Bumped, you discover that a virus has infected the world and now people, women and men alike, become infertile after the age of 18, give or take a bit, and so people have turned to teenagers for the future of the human race. This book takes place years after the virus was discovered, and now people aren’t just encouraging kids to have unprotected sex and then give up their babies for adoption, they are PAYING for young girls, as young as 11, to get pregnant and have a baby for them, and they’re paying top dollar to make sure they get a perfect baby, even going so far as to “hire” stud fathers to impregnate these girls. It sounds like a lot for a YA novel right? McCafferty handles it SO well though. She’s developed an entire lingo for this world that makes sense to the 2017 reader but still seems very “other-worldly” and perfect for the world she has created.
In Thumped, we jump forward 35 weeks and there’s two pregnancies about to reach their finality, though questions of fatherhood, scamming, and the “teen pregnancy industrial complex” are being thrown about by everyone involved. This book, the final one in the duology, wraps up a lot of the major plot points and comes home with a good message for all the teenage girls out there. Don’t worry, this isn’t actually a book series straight-up advocating for unprotected teen sex.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed these books. They were quick, light reads that didn’t make me think too much about the overall repercussions of this because the author addressed it so well and in such a clear-cut manner. Harmony and Melody represent two different types of girls and two different ways of looking at sex, and ultimately, they find a happy medium somewhere in the middle that will leave a reader satisfied. The ending is actually pretty sweet, for a fertility dystopia. Be sure to check this series out!