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 could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
Why I Read It: A dystopian touching on a possibly controversial subject. Yes!
Review: I'm honestly having such a hard time trying to word my feelings toward this book. It's a book that covers so many difficult issues but falls short in executing them. The concept is fantastic - a world where everyone over eighteen becomes infertile, so people 'hire' teens to have their kids but we never learn why people above this age are infertile. In fact, there are a lot of parts in this book where we don't actually know what is going on, for example, the slang. There is a lot of slang but no explanation into what each word means leaving you very confused basically all the way through the book.
I also had difficulty believing the characters. Melody is a girl who is getting ready for her first 'bump' with professional 'bumper' Jondoe, her personality was okay, she was slightly relatable if only for the fact that she is like teens these days - trying to keep up with the new fashions. Harmony, on the other hand is unpenetrable and so pretty unlikeable as well. Harmony comes from 'Goodside', where all religions seem to have united and formed some sort of religious 'sect' like a very extreme Amish kind of thing - where all girls wear big dresses and veils and all boys are farmers. So Harmony comes over to Otherside, where condoms are illegal (yeah, that's right), to preach to her sister and ends up having sex with a guy just because he tells her that he is also religious.
But the worst thing of all is how extreme these beliefs are. Otherside are so baby mad that they have banned condoms and basically have pictures of pregnant teens all over with slogans saying things like "Get pregnant or you'll never be this pretty". While this is a possibility and does make you think about the future, it doesn't seem real enough and comes across as a sort of political statement. Now I'm not a hater of satire, but it has to be done well and McCafferty doesn't pull it off for me.
Harmony's religious sect seems like a generalization of religion and seems pretty stereotypical. I couldn't believe that this type of lifestyle could actually exist and so I didn't really like this area.
The one okay thing about this book is Zen, Melody's best friend and possible love interest. In a book with boring, one dimensional characters Zen's charismatic and friendly, but also wise personality really did something into the book,be he was just mediocre, I don't know, he was just the only good part of the book.
Overall, I finished it, but only just. I personally wouldn't recommend this, but I leave it up to you.
Overall Rating: D-
Stand Alone/Series: First in a series (I think)
UK Release date: August 4th 2011
UK publisher: Corgi Childrens
Book recieved from UK Book Tours