Tuesday, October 30, 2012

16 and Not Pregnant - Yet

Melody is having a bad time of it lately. Her friends tease her, her parents are disappointed, and her teachers are concerned. Why? She's already sixteen years old, and she still hasn't gotten pregnant. Twisted high school pact? Sort of. Reality TV? Kind of. Alternate universe? Bingo. Welcome to the weird world of Bumped by Megan McCafferty.

In Melody's version of the future, a virus has destroyed the fertility of everyone over the age of 20. For the human race to survive, then, it all depends on the teenagers.

They're encouraged by everyone--pop culture, teachers, friends, parents--to have sex early and often, and to produce babies which are then adopted by childless couples. Some, like Melody, even sign ginormous contracts to reproduce only with the best physical specimens and give birth to designer babies. That's why Melody is still a virgin - the couple that wants her baby is being super-picky about the sperm donor.

Then Melody meets Harmony, her twin sister, who was raised in a repressive religious community where girls are married at a very young age in order to start producing babies before the virus kicks in. But their husbands are selected for them and they must remain virgins until marriage.

As both girls get to know each other, and their different worlds, they start to realize that whether they're being told to have as much sex as possible or save it until marriage, they're still being told what to do with their bodies. Shouldn't such an important choice about a girl's body belong only to its owner?

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