“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Thumped focuses more on Harmony as the girls fight their own popularity to save the future they really want.
Opening Sentence: I face my reflection, an engorged distortion I barely recognize anymore.
You absolutely have to read Bumped before picking up its sequel. Nothing will make sense and unlike other authors, McCafferty doesn’t waste pages going over the previous novel. If you read it, you’ll remember it. If you skipped it, you’ll drown in the world and relationships explained and built up in Bumped. In a world where the government is concerned with taking care of its citizens to the point of robbing females of their body’s rights, Melody and Harmony’s true stories would set off a reaction that would skyrocket them into infamy.
As Harmony tries to find out where she belongs — Goodside or Melody’s world, neither of which make her happy — her husband is suffering with her fame. Melody, who originally fought Harmony’s presence in her life, now fights to find a way to get her twin out of Goodside. This story is much more Harmony-centric, which I liked because I couldn’t get along with her as a narrator in Bumped. In Thumped, the twin’s worlds are turned upside down — mainly because in Bumped they told the story the government and their fans wanted to hear.
Thumped is still a satire, but not to the extent its prequel was. In many ways Thumped falls short of Bumped. The worldbuilding isn’t as in-your-face this time around. (And I don’t think I just got used to it. I think she toned it down.) The plot is definitely smaller and more contained. (Even though it involves millions of people. Ha.) This book is not for the lazy reader, though. It demands engagement, questions, challenges the reader into thinking about their independence, choices, and autonomy in a world like our heroines’. It’s not a heavy book — McCafferty is far too hilarious for that — but it’s not an easy read either.
This book is a lot more focused on choices — which is odd, because that’s what the first novel was about too. What I mean is, the girls chose in book one to tell a certain story and in Thumped they’re not only living with the consequences but are finally seeing themselves as independent. There’s a lot of romance with Zen and Jondoe — which I welcomed with open arms. McCafferty knows how to write heroes and romantic tension. If you were dying for more lovin’ in Bumped, I promise you get your money’s worth in the sequel.
Moral of the story: Ladies, you are more than the sum of your uterus. While I liked this novel better than Bumped, it still didn’t rock my world. Everything wrapped up a bit too quick and clean at the end for my tastes, but it was definitely a satisfying read all around. If you read Bumped, then this is definitely worth picking up, if only to find out how Melody and Harmony’s story ends.
“Look at me, Harmony. I’m a mess.”
Ignoring the low wail of the kettle, I do as he asks. He’s slumped over the table now, wearing a desperate hangdog look I’ve never seen before. Not even his luminious smile can lift him up.
He is a mess.
He’s a bigger mess than I am. And I’m the adulteress here.
FTC Advisory: Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Thumped. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”