Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzar + Bray, HarperCollins
Format: Kindle e-book
# of pages: 324
Source: bought from Amazon
Challenge: Read the Month (April)
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.
This book totally sucked me in! Okay, so I was pretty confused in the beginning, with all the slang, and just a bit frustrated, but in the end I couldn't put it down. But let's start from the beginning...
When we begin the story, we are thrust right into our characters' lives. Harmony, the religious twin, has come to the Otherside to "save" and "witness" her long lost twin Melody. They live in a world where a virus has made almost everyone over the age of 18 infertile, so teenagers have become hot commodities, especially if you have excellent genes like Melody (and Harmony). Surrogacy has been glorified and turned into a profession, with couples offering full college tuition, cars, and even liposuction to land a surrogacy contract. Melody has one such contract and is just waiting for her RePro Rep to pair her up with the best of the best Sperm (a.k.a. a RePro). Harmony obviously does not think this is okay, and decides to hijack Melody's life after she is mistaken for her. But then she ends up falling for Melody's RePro, Jondoe.
I especially liked Melody's voice and character. Melody is strong, beautiful, intelligent, and athletic, and is beginning to feel like she doesn't want to be the Surrogate that she was raised to be. She doesn't have any enthusiasm for it, and what happened with her best friend Malia before, and what happened to her best friend Shoko this time around didn't help the matter. Another best friend that didn't help boost her enthusiasm much? Zen, who I also liked. Though we don't ever get to hear his point of view, we learn enough through his interactions with both Melody and Harmony. He isn't "reproaesthetical" due to being only 5' 7.5" even though he has all the other qualities. He's smart and good looking, and also beginning to question what the world is turning into with Surrogacy becoming ever more popular. And according to Melody, everyone likes him, and she's pretty much right...can't help but like Zen! And then there's Harmony. I don't know why, but I didn't like Harmony much. She's written by the same author, and yet, I didn't like Harmony's character and was not pulled in by her voice quite as well as I was with Melody. I didn't really care about her story, unless it related to Melody's story (like when Harmony stole Melody's "RePro" Jondoe). Actually, she was kind of annoying. Jondoe was not much better.
As for the story...I'm not one to actually analyze a book for it's underlying meanings, but this book is pretty obvious with the issues. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious that it's a satire dealing with the sensitive issues of teen pregnancy and religion. But I feel like it also deals with ever evolving technology creating a more big brother like presence, with people needing know everybody else's business ASAP. (Reminds me of that 4G commercial..."That was so 5 seconds ago...") Overall, I think this is a topic that hasn't really been touched in this way before, so I found it interesting. I feel like Megan McCafferty wrote it well. I didn't always like reading what was written, mostly during Harmony's parts, but it was an interesting, easy read, and I recommend it!
Moments I Loved: Melody and Zen in the treehouse at the library. I really hope they end up together in the sequel!!
WTF Moments: Most of Harmony's scenes. Honestly, at times, I really thought she was certifiable.
Plot - ★★★★
Characters - ★★★★
Ending - ★★★★