Deals: Bumped for 99 Cents

OK, I know it's only got 3 stars on Amazon, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. And it's 99 cents right now.

The one caveat is that it DOES end on a very OMGWTFBBQ sequel hook. But it's worth it. It's about the fetishization of pregnancy in our culture, the commodification of young women's bodies, and the empowerment of protected sex. Review here.


Cupcakedoll said...

I add my recommendation. This is a good book, about happy perky characters who have no idea how much the people/media/world is consciously shaping them into what they are. The ending is indeed very... undecided. if my library would just get a copy ofMatched I'd be caught up on ALL the dystopias Ana's reviewed! =P

Ana Mardoll said...

Funny enough, I have Matched but haven't read it yet. I want to -- the cover looks so enticing -- but I AM AFRAID IT WILL SUCK. o.O

Stephanie Haefner said...

I did not like Matched nearly as much as I liked Bumped. I adored Bumped and can't wait for the sequel this coming year!! Matched did suck me in for the first couple chapters, but after kinda lost me. I did finish it though...but no desire to read the sequel. So many great reviews though.

Cupcakedoll said...

Heh, that is why I try to get stuff from the library. This delightful flood of dystopias is so large that by simple probability it must contain many that suck. =( In fact from all of the flood that I've read, Hunger Games and Wither were the only things to end up on my must-purchase list.

Matched does indeed have an awesome cover.

Sometime we need an "open thread: chatter on about dystopian fiction" But not tonight, because I don't have time to type a reply as epic as that reply would have to be.

jill heather said...

Okay, please explain. Because I read Bumped, and I thought it was absolutely terrible. (Not as bad as Delirium, but I've been aiming people away from Bumped for months.)

Ana Mardoll said...

Please explain why I liked it? I thought it was a searing commentary on our society, and in how we chose to control and monopolize the bodies of the unprivileged, specifically young women (who are frequently poor in money, experience, and agency). I would describe it as Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" plus Huxley's "Brave New World", put in a blender and sold as YA lit.

I've read 2-4 dystopian novels this year where a fertility drop among older women has had repercussions for young women. In many of these cases, the author went the 1984 route -- young women are enslaved, raped, forced into pregnancy. That's worth exploring, but seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

In Bumped, in contrast, the young women are enticed into their virtual slavery by the rich and the privileged. They're bombarded with social messages that what they are doing is Empowered! Healthy! Sexy! and meanwhile they aren't given the tools to see that they're being abused and exploited and used up by a capitalist society that values the privileged and controls the unprivileged. Bumped basically *IS* our world, but taken to 11 with a fertility crisis. As a social commentary, I think it's spot on and utterly terrifying.

jill heather said...

Hmm. I certainly agree that it was *trying* to do be a searing social commentary -- and that it's a much more believable world than one where teenagers are kidnapped or stolen, though "much more believable" didn't hit "actually believable/realistic" for me -- but I just found it was poorly enough written and plotted (and the characters were so unrealistic, especially the boy who was supposed to be the sperm donor and the religious sister) that it didn't actually succeed. And it wasn't fun enough for me to ignore the other issues. (Divergent, for instance, I found fun enough for me to ignore the myriad problems with the book.)

I am almost tempted to reread it to see why you liked it so much. Almost. But I will probably read the sequel(s?) with your thoughts in mind, something I hadn't intended to do.

jill heather said...

Ack, I threaded by mistake. Sorry.

Ana Mardoll said...

Heh, if there's one thing I've learned with my own writing it's that whether or not a character feels "real" is so subjective. I thought the religious sister was SPOT ON (I basically *was* her for many years), but I know a lot of reviewers thought she wasn't. Which I thought was funny, because that means I'm a non-existent creature of myth! FTW!

But it's not something that can be forced: either a character resonates with you or they don't. :) Goodness knows I've seen that across the spectrum with my beta readers. :D

jill heather said...

I can't really explain what about the religious sister struck me as odd. Not what she did, exactly, or her religious convictions, exactly. I think it was just the way it was written. I also hate the "whoops! wrong twin!" plot, along with the "adoptive parents are EEEEVIL and just want to use their kids for fame/money" story. Actually, hate is not a strong enough term for how I feel about the latter plotline. Though that's not the only reason I didn't like the book.

Cupcakedoll said...

Another minus vote for Delirium too. I really wanted to like it but it just wasn't quite... something. And I disliked the character death at the end as pointless. But then, the author did say she wasn't really writing a dystopia, she was writing a meditation on love, so she wasn't aiming for the tropes I was expecting and enjoy. So perhaps my grouchy reaction was more me than the book itself.

I vote plus for Bumped for the exact social commentary reasons Ana cites, but I also thought the religious sister was a bit weird. Ana, maybe your life is a case of Truth Stranger Than Fiction! =P Um... whatwasIgonnasay... Oh yes! The religious boy, who barely had any screen time and it was suggested he might be gay. I liked him. I wonder if future books will go into was life would be like for gays in the Yay!Babies! world. The super sperm donor changed his story so completely so many times that he made no impression at all, he was so fake he seemed to not even be there. This was probably on purpose, maybe a commentary on how girls drool over Orlando Bloom or whoever without knowing anything about him which fits the book's theme of "the media making telling you what to think."

I just started a book called Glow which takes place on two generation-ships headed for the New Earth. One ship has an infertility problem and kidnaps the young girls from the other ship. I'm halfway through the book, which seems to be the first in a trilogy, and I'm enjoying it a lot so far.

Ana Mardoll said...

Ha, it may well be. I keep thinking I need to write a biography, but the more I leave ya'll hanging, the more tame it will ultimately seem. :D

SELF-PROMOTION, but Bumped has been deconstructed a bit ON THIS VERY BLOG:


icecoldblank said...

Late to comment, but I just wanted to chime in for a moment, because I only just finished this yesterday. I bought this at your recommendation, and only just started reading it a few days ago. It's a quick and easy read, and one that I quite enjoyed, up until the very last bit.

I have to say, I got all into the story, so much so that I forgot about the warning about the ending. It's a good thing I remembered the warning just in time, because it had *that* ending, I yelled and threw a hissy fit, and almost threw my new e-reader across the room. Luckily, I didn't, but it was defintiely a moment of dissatisfaaction with the story.

My favorite bit was regarding the twins, and how Melody only really figured out what she wanted after she saw Harmony living as Melody (if that makes sense). It was the coming of age part of this story that I really enjoyed, the character development and all.

Anyway, just wanted to add my two cents.

Ana Mardoll said...

Ha, I very nearly did the same thing, and I was at the doctor's office! For a minute I thought my copy was broken in some way or missing a chapter. :D

I really hate cliff-hangers, but most of the series that I love have them. (Hunger Games, His Dark Materials, etc.) A big difference is this is probably the first time I've gotten into something really cliffhangery that wasn't yet complete. I usually come to stuff late.

I really loved the character development, too. Melody reminded me of a roommate I had in college, and Harmony was totally me, and I remember wanting to BE HER so much. Very fascinating to see thigns from the flip-side. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D

icecoldblank said...

It's funny, the ONE thing I don't love about the e-reader is that unlike a paper book, I can't just tell how far into the book I am, or how much is left. I know there's the percentage thing in the bottom corner, but that really hasn't become intuitive for me yet, so I rarely look at it.
I'm like you, as a rule I don't start a series unless I know I can finish it straight through and without waiting. Harry Potter was the last time I waited and it was brutal. To be honest, I probably would not have read Bumped if I had realized it was a series. But, it was a fun read, so I'm glad I did. =)

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