Review: “Thumped (Bumped #2)” by Megan McCafferty

Title: “Thumped (Bumped #2)”

Author: Megan McCafferty

Genre: YA, dystopian chick lit, dystopian, romance

Release Date: April 24, 2012 (expected)

Summary: 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.

☆: 4/5 – a great followup to a great first book!

Review: I was surprised at how short (but good) a read this one was. Where “Bumped” left us hanging, “Thumped” takes off, several months later from the Big Reveal at the end of book 1. Even though this book takes place in a future where a virus is claiming the human womb before age 18 and there’s a huge cultural pressure to get knocked up before then, this book, much like the first is still a very saucy commentary on how our current media culture is toward girls. McCafferty knocks it out of the park once more with “Thumped”, reminding us that not all is as it seems in the world around us – both in real life and in the world she builds in a future reproduction is no longer a prerogative but a legislated American law.

If you thought the bumping mania was bad in book 1, it’s at fever pitch in book 2 – to the point where it’s almost overwhelming to read about. I don’t think I could not buckle under that pressure to get “bumped” before age 18 and have at least one child or more.  Yet the plan that Melody and Harmony come up with to handle the whole thing is nothing less than absolutely brilliant. The arc here is really just an extension of the main arc from book 1, and it’s executed just as well, and just as smoothly as it is in book 1. For such a short book, the amount of content packed into it is impressive, and McCafferty did things really well in this book in general.

I think the only issue I had was Harmony’s main arc getting more…attention? Chapters? Arc time? compared to Melody, who had just as big as a problem considering her perilous situation with the fake bump. While understandable, with Harmony not only having to deal with life back in Goodside after living in Otherside (remember the saying, “you can’t keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen gay Paris?”), and the fact that she’s in a loveless marriage with her husband, AND she’s trapped with this baby being watched over by both the overbearing Church AND the whole world…well, I can see why Melody was given less POV chapters. But at the same time, I wanted to learn more about why Melody kept going along with the scheme (aside from protecting Harmony), why she kept resisting her attraction to Zen (aside from keeping up the act in front of the press), and how thoroughly the fake bump was affecting her behavior. I wanted to know more of Melody’s side of things, period, I guess, and I felt a little shortchanged there.

But the final message of the duology to girls should definitely be heeded, over-the-top ridiculous in the book or not. Media culture is sexualizing girls at younger and younger, it seems, compared to when I grew up in the ’90s, and back then it was considered the worst of the worst in terms of how quickly girls were sexualized through our Western media and culture. The messages of having sex for love instead of just having sex for sex, as well as getting married for love instead of getting married to be married are really important, and I think that McCafferty definitely makes the most of her ridiculous and hilarious setting in order to deliver these messages. As well as the final message as delivered in the Big Reveal – “love in any form is important – be it straight, gay, or other”. I really appreciated these messages and I hope that teens get as much out of it as I did (even though I’m 27).

Otherwise? This is a really great ending to a great first book, and I liked it a lot. It’s a very easy read, and there’s a Big Reveal I didn’t see coming at ALL, which was also really great. I love it when authors surprise me, and McCafferty definitely did with this reveal. There were no hints whatsoever that were dropped leading up to it, so it was such a refreshing thing to have an author write something that snuck up on me so quietly and yet had such an impact. That sort of thing makes me really happy, so if you love big surprises, you’ll love that element about “Thumped” because there’s more than just one.

“Thumped” is out through HarperTeen in North America April 24, 2012. This one is DEFINITELY worth the read, especially if you’ve read (and enjoyed) the first book. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!


One thought on “Review: “Thumped (Bumped #2)” by Megan McCafferty

  1. Pingback: usagi’s challenges for 2012! « birth of a new witch.

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