Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thumped (Bumped #2) by Megan McCafferty - Guest Post

Published: April 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray Publishing
Pages: 290
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

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.
I’m going to cheat a little and review the books as a whole, although my focus will be on Thumped, since that’s: a) where it ends and b) the one I’ve read recently.

I am probably the only person I know that hadn’t read Megan McCafferty before Bumped. *gasp* I know! I haven’t yet gotten to the Jessica Darling series. One day. Eventually. So I was engaged with Bumped, and enjoyed the lighthearted writing style McCafferty embodies, even while tackling what can be a pretty touchy (punny!) topic – teen sexuality.

Some have argued that the narrative on teen sexuality in this duo of books is preachy – and I can see that. And maybe that was the point, to give teens a bit of an eye-opener when they read. Because really, what would happen if only the under-18s group could reproduce? What if reproducing suddenly became not only necessary for that age group, but profitable?

Scarily enough, it sort of did. MTV’s show 16 and Pregnant reportedly caused an entire town of 16 year old girls to get pregnant on purpose so they could be on the show. McCafferty gives us that same type of scenario, with a lot more heart, some funnier language and a less heartbreaking ending (re: the show declined to have any of the girls on the show).

Was it predictable? Yes. I knew how the books would end before I had reached page 50 of Thumped. But I still enjoyed getting there. And even knowing what the rhetoric was (Practice safe sex! You have a choice! It’s your body!), I still enjoyed them – I didn’t mind having that message thrown in my face with McCafferty’s delicious writing style. And the characters are so wrapped up in this ridiculous game they’ve played, they keep forgetting what their purpose is. They keep forgetting that they are people – not ends to a means. It’s endearing. Melody and Harmony (who only met in Bumped – they were twins separated at birth) are close enough to be believably instinctive sisters, but distant enough that you don’t question the fact that they only really met 9 months ago (and have spent much of those same 9 months apart). Ram and Jondoe are hilariously competent – they try so hard and it’s adorable. Light, with a great message? Bumped and Thumped are thumbs up for me.

Oh, and quick high-five to Ms. McCafferty to sticking to her guns and keeping this a duo of books (which I’m guessing is partly because of Melody and Harmony being twins, and both being set to deliver twins. Twos all around, folks) and not going with the YA trend of trilogies and series and dragging things on and on and on. It wrapped up nicely. In two books. It can be done!

Many, many thanks to our dear friend and co-worker Special K for her unique views on books that Christinabean and I just don't have the time to get to.  Thank you.

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