A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for 'conception contracts' with the prettiest, healthiest and cleverest girls - cash, college tuition and liposuction in exchange for a baby.
Sixteen-year-old Melody is gorgeous, athletic and has perfect grades, and has scored an amazing contract with a rich couple. And she's been matched with one of the most desirable 'bumping' partners in the world - the incredibly hot, genetically flawless Jondoe.
But Melody's luck is about to run out. She discovers she has a sister - an identical twin, Harmony, who has grown up in a religious community opposed to the idea of 'pregging'. Harmony believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful plans. Melody doesn't have time for this - she can't wait to meet Jondoe and seal the deal. But when he arrives and mistakes Harmony for Melody, everyone's carefully-laid plans are swept out of control - and Melody and Harmony are about to realise they have so much more than just DNA in common.
Sharp, original and sassy, this futuristic take on teen pregnancy is totally readable and scarily believable.
McCafferty proves that dystopias don't have to be dreary to be provocative. A virus has left everyone over the age of 18 unable to procreate, making teenagers the only viable "breeders" and spawning a pregnancy-obsessed future society. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of two 16-year-old twins, separated at birth: deeply religious Harmony, raised in god-fearing, vaguely Amish "Goodside," and Melody, whose adoptive parents have been crafting her into the perfect Reproduction Professional or RePro, sought by wealthy, barren couples. McCafferty (the Jessica Darling series) has enormous fun in her first YA novel: tweens, aka "nubie-pubies," try on Preggerz FunBumps, designed to mimic pregnancy; expectant teens munch on Folato Chips for folic acid boosts; and slang like "fertilicious," "terminal," and "barren" is used with abandon. Yet she also raises challenging questions about individuality and morality. There's a predictable though entertaining identity switch, and readers must wait until the next book to learn if these girls end up with the lives (and guys) they want. The book's carefree sexuality and exploitation makes it uncomfortable, scandalous, and not easily forgotten there's little doubt that's exactly what McCafferty is going for. Ages 14 up.