WHEN A VIRUS makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they search for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.
I loved the opening chapter of BUMPED so much – it at once transports you to this world where teens would try on baby bumps at their local mall for fun. I especially liked the advertising jingles and slogans – what was your process to come up with these?
The image of girls trying on “FunBumps” in the dressing room was the first that popped into my head when I came up with the concept for the novel. The slogans were just a natural extension of that scene, just thinking about how corporations would try to sell pregnancy to teenagers with sexy marketing.
Considering one of the twin main characters comes from a church background, there is a lot of religious content in the book. Was this difficult to write? How did you approach this aspect of Harmony’s character?
BUMPED explores the dangers of extreme thinking, and I wanted to make sure that I was equally critical of the behaviors and attitudes on both sides of the ideological divide. The Church in BUMPED is a fictional amalgamation of faiths, but is primarily inspired by the Amish. I researched BUMPED for a year before I began writing it, and a lot of that time was spent reading books about various religious communities. I also watched hours of Christian teens’ testimonies on YouTube, read religious blogs, had theological discussions with friends. It was so gratifying when an early reader who grew up in an evangelical household asked, “Did you read my diary?”
I grew up in an evangelical household too, and I agree about it feeling very authentic! You’ve compared BUMPED to A Handmaid’s Tale, so I am going to assume it was an influence. Would you say any other dystopian classics have left a lasting impression on you?
I love FEED by M.T. Anderson, especially the way he used satirical humor to make his point about media overload and conspicuous consumption.
Ok...Mash-up time! What character from another book would you like to see navigate the world of BUMPED and why? And what book would you love to drop one of your BUMPED characters into to see how he or she would handle it?
I’d like to see Melody and Harmony do a switcheroo with Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield from SWEET VALLEY HIGH. But it has to be the original 80s version of SVH, so there’s all sorts of anachronistic hijnks and shenanigans.
And I could just see Jessica and Lila competing to sell conception contracts to the highest bidder. Awesome! Thank you so much for joining us today Megan!
Visit Megan's website.