Lately I’ve been seriously considering joining a book club in my local area to get myself out of the house more often and engage with other people who share similar interests. I love reading and I was involved in book clubs when I was younger so it might be a great way to meet people now that I’ve graduated from university and don’t see people much outside of work.
In the spirit of possibly joining a book club, I’ve decided to write another post about two books I recently read by Megan McCafferty.
The books are entitled “Bumped” and “Thumped” and essentially revolve around the lives of two teenage girls who happen to be twins separated at birth.
Without going into too much detail, the book portrays a futuristic dystopian society in which human beings are unable to reproduce after the age of eighteen (known as “obsolescence” in the book) due to a virus which has infected the majority of the human race. As a result, teenage girls are essentially prostituted out by their parents in order to “bump” (have sex) with a “RePro” (reproductive professional) of the opposite sex to create a “Pregg” (pregnancy) which will then be carried to term and immediately delivered to the buyers after the girl has given birth.
In the book, teenage girls and boys are ranked in a Darwinian system which scores individuals based on the desirability of their traits (ie. height, intelligence, etc.). Depending on how well these individuals score in the ranking system, they can either become Reproductive Professionals and contract themselves out for preggs, or amateur preggers who sell their offspring for a much lower profit than those who score high enough to be contracted professionals.
Sound a little messed up? That’s because it is. As with any good dystopian literature, the book carries themes which seem outlandish enough to seem unlikely, yet similar enough to the practices of our own society that it is believably foreboding.
While reading the two books I felt the same urge to compare the books to current societal practices that I felt while reading George Orwell’s 1984. This is not because the books cross paths in terms of content, but rather, the books both seem to be predicting how certain aspects of our society could become dangerous. Orwell was certainly not far off in his surveillance predictions if you consider how much of our online activities are monitored, tracked, and sold. Is it possible that McCafferty is depicting a society which will not be far off from our own in a few decades down the road?
Obviously, it’s impossible to know what the future holds, but I certainly appreciate a book that can make me think about things like this. Bumped and Thumped have definitely done this for me. I’ve been thinking about the novels ever since I finished them, which is probably why I decided to write about them here! If you’re a book worm like me and you enjoy young adult fiction, dystopian fiction, and/or books that will change the way you think about society and societal issues you should definitely consider giving these books a read!