by Morgan on April 27, 2011
Megan McCafferty’s new novel was released today, and I’m crazy stoked. McCafferty wrote the wildly popular (among young female readers with good taste) Jessica Darling series, the first of which – Sloppy Firsts — is one of my favorite novels of all time.
The reason these books are so good is that they chronicle, in completely alive, unaffected prose, the coming of age of a young American girl, and they do so as a means to an end. McCafferty doesn’t pull any stunts: she simply tells what it’s like to be in high school, to be in love for the first time, to feel disassociated from one’s parents in an incremental, acute way, to have no idea what comes next. The books (particularly the first two) are riveting in the exact same vein as teenagehood itself, when life feels so weighted, so desperate, and so precarious.
Bumped takes place in a future dystopia, where a virus has rendered everyone over the age of eighteen infirtile. Would-be parents “must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.”
In her book trailer of sorts, McCafferty explains where the idea came from:
“Jamie Lynn Spears was my very unlikely muse. When Britney Spears’s kid sister announced that she was pregnant at sixteen, the media went crazy. Meanwhile, Juno came out right about the same time, and it brought debates about pro-life versus pro- choice, abstinence only versus condoms in vending machines, to a whole new level. So, I was really fascinated by the media’s response, or rather the media’s creation, of this so-called teen mom phenom. And so it sparked a question in my min,d and I asked myself: what would happen if girls were encouraged to have sex and encouraged to get pregnant?”
Bumped is the first in a two-book series, and I can’t wait to read it. I really hope McCafferty gets the critical attention (if not acclaim) that she deserves with this release.