Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Length: 323 pages
Genre: YA; Dystopia; Science fiction
Format: Hard Cover
Why I read it: I kept seeing it at the library, so I decided to give it a shot

What it’s About: A virus has made it impossible for anyone over the age of 18 to conceive a child. In the year 2035 16 year old Melody is in a contract to get pregnant and give the baby to a couple. But before that can happen, the couple wants to find the perfect match. Meanwhile, Melody’s discovered that she has a twin sister, Harmony. One day Harmony runs away from her home in the religious community of Goodside, where she is supposed to get married. Harmony believes that she must convince Melody to come home with her and become a wife, mother, and live her life free from sin.

The Review: Where to start? The concept is interesting. In McCafferty’s world, a virus will have made it impossible to conceive a child after you turn 18. In the book, it is common place for anyone 20 and over to not only have to adopt, but they hire girls to be their surrogates. And Parents of these girls are not only okay with this, they pimp them out. Melody’s adoptive parents have spent years and who knows how much money to make her look perfect on paper so that she could get a contract to be someone’s surrogate. They’ve hired a publicist and everything. There is a couple who is interested, The Jaydens. But they don’t want just anyone “bumping” with Melody, they want their baby to come from the two most perfect parents possible. But when Melody discovers her twin, she will do whatever it takes to keep Harmony a secret. Because in this world, having a twin makes you not so special in the ultra competitive world of “Pregging”. I know I’m not explaining it very well, but honestly, I think in order to get it, you’d have to read it.
The Setting is also interesting. I mean, women only have a limited number of years to conceive as it is. But this book limits it even further with the help of a virus. Except in religious communities. Apparently Where Harmony grew up, women are still able to conceive after the age of 18. But it’s unknown why. And yet, girls are still getting married at the age of 16 to become mothers….yeah, that part confused me.

I felt, personally, that there wasn’t enough information. I know a virus caused this to happen, but where did this virus start? What kind of virus was it? Cold? Flu? STD? Why were the religous people not affected? Is it because the virus was an STD, and they don’t believe is sex before marriage? I don’t know. The there was the slang. I’m fine with how it was used. I’m fine with how often it was used. What I’d like is an explanation as to what some of these things mean. I can figure out “bumping” is sex, and “Pregging” is getting pregnant, but there were some that were just confusing as hell. And the technology was just weird. I’d love to look like I’m trying to get dirt out of my eye or have a weird eye tick every time I want to talk to someone.
I’m not going to say that this book is giving 16 year old girls permission to get pregnant. They were doing that long before this book came out, and they will continue to do so long after this generation is dead. I’m not saying I’d like it if my daughter (if I have a daughter) came home pregnant, but it happens , so why act like this book would be the cause?
As for the characters, I didn’t feel like I got to know them. The perspective jumped every chapter, which is fine, but The girls personalities didn’t shine through, and I know that they grew up separated, and the sibling bond wasn’t there, but it seemed like Melody didn’t want to try to get to know here twin, and Harmony was just using Melody as an excuse to not go home. I don’t know about you, but If I found out I had a sister, let alone a twin, I’d want to get to know her and learn everything about her life.

Did I like it? It was…different. I don’t know. I didn’t dislike it.
Would I reread it? Probably not.

Would I purchase it? No.

Would I recommend it? I have no idea.

Final rating: 2 out of 5 stars. Simply because I don’t know how I feel about it.

Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child by Terrance Dicks

Title: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child
Author: Terrance Dicks
Length: 128 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, TV Tie-in
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: It’s Doctor Who.

What it’s About: This is the Novelization of the very first Doctor Who Serial. It goes from the first story arc from the first episode “the Unearthly Child” to episode 4 “the firemaker” It starts with teachers Ian and Barbra discussing how peculiar their student Susan behaves sometimes. Stating historical dates and events that have never happened, and using scientific formulas that don’t exist. In a state of concern, Ian and Barbra decide to follow her home and talk with her Grandfather, who she lives with. Upon meeting her grandfather, they are swept away in the TARDIS and taken on an adventure to the past where they are captured by cavemen and forced to make fire for the tribe or face death.

The Good: Having watched the first episode before reading the book, it was easier to follow what was happening, and as with the first episode, I loved the build up to the first meeting of The Doctor. I love that the first Doctor is a somewhat pompous person who is also childish and stubborn. He’s everything you expect him to be. A know-it-all who has a short temper and expects to get his way, but you can’t help but follow him, admire him, and trust him. As for Susan, she can be just as mysterious as The Doctor, but she can also be quite naive. At this point Not much is known about either He or The Doctor, except they seem to be protective of each other. I love Ian and Barbra. They are not afraid to challenge The Doctor, and I think it’s something he needs from time to time. I also like that they seem to take time traveling in stride.

The Bad: I know that in the 60’s the “men have to protect the women” mentality was quite normal, but I seriously doubt Susan and Barbra were as helpless and weak as the men believed. I also don’t like that Barbra and Ian seemed to trust The Doctor to carry them away in his little blue box, but not trust that he could get them home. They seemed reluctant to just let the adventure happen. At the same time though, I disliked that The Doctor didn’t seem to value Barbra and Ian’s opinions or trust that their ideas in a dangerous situation would work. I think Barbra and Ian tend to forget that although The Doctor looks human, he isn’t and that is where the arguments start.

Final Thoughts: I think for me the Episode and the boo were both a bit…..lacking. I get it, I grew up in a time where tv and books a more fast paced. And I did enjoy both the book and the episode, but they, for me, were too slow. I think if you like Doctor Who, and you can’t find the episodes, this is a great alternative, and despite the slow pace, they are quick reads and highly entertaining.