I hopped right into Thumped after reading Bumped. I was happy to see my local library had a digital copy, which I’m finding very convenient these days… and easy on the pocketbook. Before I get into the review, the blurb as always 🙂
Thumped, the sequel to Bumped, manages to be satiric, scary, and romantic at the same time. It continues the story of separated-at-birth twins, Melody and Harmony, girls as engaging as McCafferty’s Jessica Darling. These sisters are the most popular teen girls on the planet. To their fans, they seem to be living ideal lives. Harmony is married to Ram and living in Goodside, the religious community that once meant everything to her. Melody has the genetically flawless Jondoe as her coupling partner, which means money and status—and a bright future.
But both girls are hiding secrets. And they are each pining for the only guys they can’t have…. The biggest risk of all could be to finally tell the truth.
I’ll start off by saying that McCafferty seems to purposely mislead the reader. For example, she starts the story with Harmony toying with a sharp blade. In my mind, she’s leading me to believe that Harmony is suicidal. Pages later, you find she’s just thinking about cutting her hair. She did that in the last book also… planting falseness and failing to deliver.
Personally, I don’t like the style as it ends in a letdown. The book, particularly the beginning, was full of instances such as that. To me, the style reminds me of a kid who’s just learned how to put to use “just kidding.” Kids tend to overdo it in the beginning. That’s what McCafferty does with her writing.
McCafferty also breaks the 4th wall at some point, having Harmony at one point talk to the audience. It was weird. Plus, when she did it, she made it seem like we were in on her secret, but she hadn’t told us anything yet, because as I mentioned, McCafferty likes to be secretive about things that aren’t significant.
In fact, McCafferty is so awful about sharing details, I got through 75% of this book before she revealed the reason Ram was shunned in the last book.
I will say that McCafferty saved some unexpected twists for the ends. When I say unexpected, I mean completely unexpected. Whereas she hinted at other things and left me hanging, I had no idea she had a few whammies stored for me. I liked it. I wish she’d do that more often.
I struggled a bit with the character development, particularly with the Jondoe-Harmony saga. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too far removed from my childhood to understand the motivations of these young folks. For example, falling in love overnight stumps me. Then you have people who talk about love at first sight, so who knows. Maybe I’m just too much of a left-brainer to give myself over to those kinds of instant emotions.
The enduring relationship between Melody and Zen made sense though. I even got the relationship between Ram and Harmony. But that Jondoe-Harmony relationship… that was a bit beyond me. Other relationships were between the kids and the adults.
I have to say, the kiddos really dragged the adults through the mud with all their trickery. Parts were believable and parts were not. Really, I feel like anything I’d provide in the way of specifics would be spoilers.
Everything was wrapped up neatly in the end… a bit too neatly in some cases. Still, it’s certainly better than a cliffhanger. Overall, I’d give this book a 3 out of 5. The storyline really was a continuation of the last book. We got a happy ending, somewhat. The characters were okay. Really, the premises was great but the delivery didn’t wow me.
- “You of all people shouldn’t underestimate Jondoe’s penetrative powers.”
- “They love their God and they love their guns. They will shoot you first and pray for forgiveness later.”
- “I know it’s grammatically correct, but gah. Whom? Who talks like that?”