Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Thumped

THUMPED (Bumped #2)
Megan McCafferty
Young adult/dystopian
304 pages
Balzer + Bray
Available April 24th
Received from author for review

THE STORY (from 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.

Thumped returns us to a world that dropped our jaws when we initially encountered it in Bumped, and though we’re more prepared for it with this sequel, we find we’re no more comfortable with this future the second time around. Perhaps part of the reason Ms. McCafferty’s distorted reality is so unnerving is not because we can’t possibly imagine a time in which we’d view the sexual exploitation of our young men and women as necessary no matter how desperate our future selves might be, but rather because in many ways Harmony and Melody’s world is simply an exaggerated version of what has been historically accepted as the norm. In a not-so incredibly distant past women were forced into sexual relationships at shockingly young ages, passed from father to husband in business transactions meant to consolidate wealth and power through the begetting of heirs; their bodies used for procreation alone while the same cool indifference was given to their emotional state as this society gives to Melody and Harmony’s.

Recognizing that Ms. McCafferty’s sex-centric world with its Reproductive Professionals and its bumping contracts has a direct link to our reality if we follow the line of thinking from this future all the way back to our pasts is part of what makes both Bumped and Thumped so uncomfortably fascinating. However much we’d like to deny the potential for this society to exist, the connecting thread our minds can't help but draw between future and past simply refuses to be disregarded as pure fiction. Though Bumped and Thumped may be too over the top and too outrageous for some, it can be said that anyone reading will certainly not walk away from these books without an opinion on them–either positive or negative–thus making them worth reading for no other reason than they inspire a great deal of thought, introspection, and conversation.

While Melody, Harmony and Jondoe were extreme examples of their disparate upbringings in Bumped–completely foreign to us in the beginning with their different approaches to sex and intimacy–Thumped finds them all remarkably more tangible, each of them having moved slowly but inexorably to the center of the spectrum where independent thought thrives. Instead of simply living their lives in accordance with the tenets of their respective factions, they draw us deeper into their lives by questioning what they’ve been told is “right” and refusing to be a carbon copy of what their society considers ideal. While we don’t necessarily feel a visceral attachment to them, we can’t help but respect the changes we see in them from book one and throw our support behind them as they fight what seems like a losing battle.

Those who had trouble settling into Bumped due to the strange terminology and teenage slang so prevalent throughout will welcome the toned-down nature of Thumped, the use of sex-related witticisms and general sexual propaganda few and far between as the focus shifts to the characters themselves rather than the world. The one complaint to be had with this sequel is the seeming ease with which the main conflict gets resolved and the open-ended nature of the conclusion. We can appreciate the connection between the final pages of Thumped and the beginning pages of Bumped, the ending of Thumped presenting nothing but possibilities for each of the characters–a stark contrast to the rigid structure imprisoning them hundreds of pages prior–but at the same time we can’t help but want to know a bit more about the fallout resulting from actions taken in the last chapters as well as a few specifics as to what’s in store for their futures given no third book is on its way.

Rating: 3.5/5


  1. Didn't we talked about Bumped before?? If I am not mistaken you were not such a big fan of Bumped?

    I loved it - I found the humor incredible and I was laughing out so many times. Bumped totally took me by surprise about how much I actually loved it in the end.

    I can't wait to to get back into this hilarious tale in Thumped!

  2. Whoaaa...I haven't read Bumped yet, but based on your review, it seems this series focuses a lot on sex/sexual relationships etc. I'm not too keen on starting this series, but who knows, I might give it a go someday! Awesome review Jenny!<3

  3. I really cant see why the would be popular. i would think that if this came to play in the future people would just kidnap girls, not pay them for their uterus

  4. I'm haven't heard about this book so i will make sure to check it out soon and I glad you enjoyed it :)

  5. This is such a great review Jenny, I still have to pick up Bumped, I remember the reviews being all over the place, but after you throughly detailed review I can't wait to start it! :)

  6. I keep hearing more and more about this series as the year goes on, and I have to admit that the main reason I was intrigued at first was because of the egg on the cover x) But it also sounds like it's be such a funny book! I've seen a lot of mixed feelings about this series, but reading your review makes me think I should give it a shot one day -- it may not be perfect, but the promise of character development is golden! :)

    Beautiful review, Jenny! <3

  7. I have the first one on my shelves but I don't know when I will get to read them. I loved your review and it definitely gives some insight into the series. Thanks for being great at conveying what the books really mean to you as a reader!

  8. I read Bumped as well and am still wanting to read Thumped to see what happens. I kind of have mixed feelings, but tried to just read the book for what it is... a story. We'll see how I feel about it once I read book two. Like you said, they are "uncomfortably fascinating".

  9. I have Bumped on my tbr list. I took a break from YA but I'm ready to jump back in.

  10. Danny - I didn't dislike Bumped, I gave it a 3.5 as well:) Any books that makes me think as much as these do are worth reading I think!

    Shirley - It's definitely a sex-centric world - very exaggerated and crazy and kind of horrifyingly interesting:)

    Linda - There's a virus in this future that renders people over a certain age infertile, so they pay the teenagers to carry their children for them.

    Lilly - It's an interesting read for sure!

    Jasprit - The reviews for Bumped were rather varied, but I kind of like that aspect. It was a story that got people talking and that's something fun in the book blogging world I think:)

    Mimi - It's a bit out there in the slang and the slogans/advertisements, but I couldn't stop thinking about them when I finished reading so I appreciate that they left such an impression even with the few problems I had.

    Felicia - Awww thanks Felicia, I try. I know my reviews are sometimes vague and full of random metaphors, so I appreciate you saying that:)

    Chrystal - Exactly. Sometimes being knocked out of my comfort zone is a good thing:)

    Jennifer - I'll be interested to see what you think of it!

  11. I really enjoyed how twisted "Bumped" was and I'm curious to see where the story goes from there. It's a bummer that the book ends with an open note, perhaps it's one of those "as you like it" endings? I'm a bit surprised how the main conflict was easily resolved, but I can see how since the book seemed to be much more character driven. Looking forward to reading this one!

  12. I agree that whether you like these books or not, they certainly invoke a lot of thought and that, in my opinion, makes a book a winner.
    I was surprisingly okay with the ending. Usually I hate not knowing how everything turned out.

  13. I have not picked up this series but was seriously considering it after I read Candace's review last week. I like the idea of only a two book series and it sounds like such a thought provocative topic, but now I am scratching my head, Drat I hate open endings and draw yur own conclusions...this is what this sounds like, still I am fascinated by the concept.

  14. I have to be honest... I wasn't wanting to read the first book. You have me curious about the second one. I may have to rethink and pick up Bumped. Maybe I'll wait until the 3rd and then library book it. Hm...

  15. Wow, Jenny! You are a reviewing ninja! I wonder if I could get you to share the secrets of your super skills with me?

    I just skimmed this review because I have yet to read book one, but I'm glad to know the slang was toned down in this installment. I remember numerous complaints about it.

  16. Thanks for the review Jenny. I wasn't sure if I was going to read this but I will give it a try.

  17. Rummanah - I liked the contrast between the open ending and the very defined world in the beginning, but I would have liked a little more info on the fallout of Melody and Harmony's actions:)

    Candace - Exactly! Couldn't agree more:)

    Heidi - It's definitely a thought-provoking series, one that gets under your skin and refuses to let you move on to something else without giving it its due notice:)

    Melissa - They're extremely interesting reads, even if the over the top nature of them is too much for you. You'll definitely have an opinion one way or the other:)

    Missie - Thanks! I've always wanted to be a ninja:) I felt a little more prepared for the slang in this one, so not only was it not as prominent but when it was it didn't startle me quite as much.

    Savy - You're welcome!

  18. Jenny, I didn't love Bumped but I agree that it's one of those books that inspire conversation, which is why I'm looking forward to reading Thumped. It's good to know there's less of that annoying slang around this time!

  19. Zahida - The slang definitely wasn't as much of an issue for me in this one, can't wait to see what you think!

  20. Hmm, that's weird that she would leave the story so open like that without the promise of a third book. That would be a bit annoying. But I do love the concept of these books, in that you can picture it happening because it was a reality in the past. I find that when I am able to make that connection to reality within the dystopian world that I'm reading about, as disturbing as that might be to imagine it coming to life, those really are the best and most effective dystopians.

  21. You seem to have a much more positive view of this book than most people. I've read so many bad reviews. I wonder why it's so controversial.

  22. I loved the sound of Bumped but for some reason I've never picked up a copy .. I'm glad you overall enjoyed it Jenny. I totally see what you mean, I really hate when things get resolved super easily and quicly in a book ... Thanks for the great review !

  23. Hi, Jenny! I haven't read either of these, but you've made them sound very interesting to me. I'm a feminist from way back to its more current roots in the '60's and '70's, and have read books both fiction and non-fiction having to do with this similar subject for years. Now you have me scrabbling to go to the local bookstore for copies. Thanks for another very insightful review! Wishing you all the best in blogging, Jenny!

  24. Jenny-
    You are the reviewing Ninja. Do you sleep? Maybe you're a speed reader. Anyway, I never read Bumped. I saw a video review of it on The Book Rat and I decided it wasn't for me. I'm glad you liked it for making you think. I just think the over the top, in your face stuff would make me put it down in a hurry. Maybe I'll check it out in the library sometime. But I really hate it when there isn't a definite ending.


  25. Ah, glad to hear that the language is a bit toned down in Thumped. That was one of the main problems that I had with Bumped, I had no idea what was going on. I am looking forward to seeing where the author took the story in this book. Your review has me super curious!