Monday, June 27, 2011
Balzer + Bray, 2011
Source: Received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
There was a lot of buzz around this book as McCafferty's official YA debut and as another variation on dystopia.
In the future, women lose their reproductive capabilities by the time they're twenty, meaning that teenagers become extraordinarily important in order to keep humans alive. There are multiple ways of approaching that. Some teenagers have sex with someone they love and then essentially auction off the baby to the highest bidder; sometimes both partners are brought together and paid money for the child they create; and the third option presented in the book is a religious community were partners either reproduce or adopt children.
The two main characters of this book have not reproduced yet but the action is leading them toward that path. Melody and Harmony are separated at birth identical twin sisters who share their perspective in alternating chapters. Melody has lived in the secular world and has been prepared her entire life for the moment when she secures a lucrative contract and goes on to "bump" with someone, hopefully eventually producing three babies. Harmony has grown up in the religious community but upon discovering the existence of her sister, she sets out to ostensibly bring Melody into the fold. One other important character is Zen, Melody's best friend who is too short to actually father a child (prospective parents want tall genes) but whose chemistry with Melody is strong.
I mostly liked the plot, especially the scenes between Melody and Zen because they were so cute. He especially was a great character and probably my favorite because of his sweetness and his obvious love for Melody.
What I really didn't like was all of the new words and slang that ran throughout the book; they drove me crazy and are the main reason for the low rating. When I don't like the writing, I don't like the book even though it flowed well and I wanted to keep reading.
Read for YA Debut Author Challenge and e-book challenge.