Once again, my initial reaction to completing a book by Megan McCafferty is one of frustration that she can’t seem to encapsulate or tie off a narrative appropriately in a single book. Seriously, even when you know there will be sequels, books in a series should be self contained and END rather than merely STOP.
All that said, I was really taken by her conceit: That a fertility-killing virus has turned a society that once treated teen sexuality as anathema is now systematically coercing kids not just to copulate but to procreate. Bumped doesn’t exactly feel like the futuristic/post-apocalyptic Divergent or Hunger Games, but it’s certainly in the same school and feels much more plausible and, therefore, scarier than those two.
The protagonists, Melody and Harmony (I know it’s silly, just go with it) don’t always feel fully formed—especially Melody—but this is partly owing, I think, to the fact that Melody doesn’t know who she is. Neither does Harmony, and neither one figures out that she doesn’t know who she really is until the story reaches its climax in the final hundred pages. And that’s maybe why, in the end, I enjoyed this one. I’m a sucker for a young woman on the verge of finding herself. And once that happens here, the girls and the narrative feel more whole.
There are what feel like plot holes and questions left unanswered, but maybe they’ll be settled in the sequel, which I’ll be starting in 3, 2, 1 . . .