Let me start this post by saying that Megan McCafferty is one of my all-time favorite YA authors. Her Jessica Darling series is one I've already read through twice, and I keep them all on my shelf because I KNOW I'll read them all again.
When I saw the Megan was working on something new, something dystopian, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, Bumped was announced even before dystopian was a multi-millian dollar gotta-have-it trend. But I figured that whatever she was writing couldn't go wrong ... and thankfully, I was right!
What I loved about Bumped was how fully-formed the world was. I've read some reviews where readers were slightly annoyed by the teen-speak, but I thought it only served to further pull me into the story and better-understand the world of Bumped. Besides, teen slang changes DAILY, and to think that teenagers would still be speaking the same way in the future that they are now seems not only naive, but also unimaginative! By creating and entirely new vocabulary for teenagers that borders on 1984/Clockwork Orange territory, it really served to keep me more closely grounded in this future world. I was able to envision Bumped-world all the time, which also helped me better understand the motivations of the characters. I wasn't trying to contextualize them in my world.
As for the characters? I thought Melody was a great character. Her sister Harmony was, from time to time, a little difficult to take. Just a little bit too Pollyanna-ish in places. I also wanted Zen to wow me a little more ... but when your benchmark is Marcus Flutie? Well, I guess that's a hard mountain to climb! I did love that his defining sexy characteristic was that he was SMART. It wasn't about his hair or his eyes or any of those other stereotypical hot guy traits. McCafferty makes you want Zen FOR HIS BRAIN. Jondoe was really hard for me to wrap my brain around, and I hope to find out more about him in (what I hope will be?) the next book. I couldn't decide if I loved him or loathed him.
I still prefer McCafferty's contemporary writing, but I will definitely be on board for any future Bumped books (and I'm guessing there will be, based on the ending ... though I haven't seen anything about it yet).
Read it if you liked: Matched or Delirium, but thought they could have done with more jokes