Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page #: 232
Source: My public library
"When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls' lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither of them could have imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common."
"I'm sixteen. Pregnant. And the most important person on the planet.
According to the Babiez R U ad, anyway."
I couldn't really get a read on the cover when I first saw it. But when I read that it was about pregger teens, I was sold. Had to find out what this book was about. The whole summary bit above (from the book flap) is pretty comprehensive about the story line.
This is probably the most original dystopian novel I've ever read. Typically there's a lot of technology, gray, and crazy shiz happening. There's something very bright and fun about this novel that doesn't scream DYSTOPIAN at you. But it is. And it's approached in a really wonderful way.
It's a world of girls fighting over preggie contracts and finding the right match through their agents (effectively). One thing I really loved was how the author really thought about how things would go down if such a virus did take hold. People would start marketing pregnancy to teens in a huge way! As in, cutesy t-shirts, silly slogans, hit songs, etc. She really thought of it all. And I think it really was well done.
You know, the author did a really good job also pulling in all the aspects of this future world without hitting you over the head with them. You don't realize what some things are until much later because they're never handed to you on a platter. It's much more subtle than that. And I appreciate the detail. You get much more involved in the story of the sisters without feeling the need of picturing them in some futuristic way (as you do in many sci fi-ish books).
There are two main topics in this book and they are both heavy hitters: Teen Pregnancy and Religion. Seriously, could you find two more nervous-making topics?! You will definitely feel bashed over the head with all the religious talk, but that's sort of the point in the story. And there were more than a few moments where I felt a bit uncomfortable about the whole teen preg concept, but again... the point. I was just impressed at how things all came together.
I really will be recommending this to my older/more mature teen readers. It's a bit ... graphic. Ish. It has to be with all the birthing talk and "breedy bits"... so I can't hold it against the book. But I think it might be a little much for some younger readers. I'm not sure this book is for everyone, but I think it's a well-written and unique story. And I didn't realize this was the start of a series, so I was bummed that there wasn't a true ending. You can bet that I'll be in line for the next one when it comes out!
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