Author: Megan McCafferty
Publication: Balzer + Bray (April 26, 2011)
Description: 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.
From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.
My Thoughts: This futuristic novel was very thought-provoking. What would happen if the current trend of romanticizing young women getting pregnant was carried to extremes? What would happen if a virus like HIV would make everyone over 18 infertile?
McCafferty sees a world where teens and pre-teens sport fake baby bumps and are eager to have the real thing. In her world, all teenage and pre-teen girls want to be pregnant. Potential baby fathers are famous and have big contracts. Melody is one of the first in her school to go pro. Her agent and parents have negotiated a major surrogate contract for her. But delays in choosing the right male partner have kept her without her own baby bump at age 16. She is facing peer-pressure at school and starting to have her own doubts about the whole baby-making business. Melody was adopted. Her birth parents are unknown. She learns that she has an identical twin.
Harmony was raised in a religious community that thinks pregnancy for money is a sin. They marry their girls off at age 13 to have babies the way God intended. Harmony has left the community ostensibly to convince Melody to give up her immoral life and to move with her back to Goodside.
Jondoe is a very famous baby daddy. Melody's agent has managed to contract with him to be the father of Melody's baby but Harmony gets the call and decides to take Melody's place. She takes one look at Jondoe and has to have him. She's not sure if she wants his baby or wants to save him. Jondoe is an excellent actor. I'm still not sure if he was running a scam on Harmony or not when he convinces her that they are soulmates.
The whole teen culture revolves around being pregnant. The drugs the kids use encourage fertility. The ads on the MiNet are pregnancy related. Guys are rated as good potential breeder or not. Melody's good friend Zen has failed the test because he is too short. Those kinds of guys are the everythingbut guys. Since no girls keep their babies, they need to make sure that the product they create is the most marketable.
This book had a lot of humor and some very thought-provoking ideas too. I recommend it to older teens who like dystopias.
There's a lot of tension between amateurs and pros at school. Like, amateurs look down on pros for bumping with strangers, not boyfriends. Or they pity us for missing out on all the partner-swapping fun at the masSEX parties. And pros say amateurs are jealous because they aren't good enough to pregg for profit. And even if they were they probably wouldn't have the willpower to keep their legs crossed until it was time to fulfill their contractual obligations.I received this book from NetGalley for review. It is available in print and ebook at Amazon.