Friday, January 10, 2014

Mini Reviews #22

Today I've got three very different books for you. The first is BUMPED by Megan McCafferty, a dystopian read where teenagers are encouraged to get pregnant in order to give many couples the chance to adopt. The Middle Grade read of WONDER by R. J. Palacio will open every reader's heart for young August, an exceptional boy with facial deformity. And then there is PUSHING THE LIMITS, a steamy YA contemporary 2012 debut novel by Katie McGarry.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Imagine a future in which everyone over eighteen is infertible and teenage girls with baby bumps are the new stars for all the couples who can't get their own children anymore. Harmony and Melody are sixteen-year-old identical twins who were separated at birth. They are reunited the day Harmony, who was brought up in a religious community, shows up on Melody's doorstep and wants to convince her that bumping with a stranger for money is just not acceptable.
Melody and Harmony are twins but have very different opinions about the whole pro teen pregnancy hype going on. One of them is supposed to get pregnant very soon, the other isn't at all for premarital sex. It's not all about sex, there is still room for proper love stories for both teens, that were surprisingly funny and cute to follow. So BUMPED has a good portion of contemporary romance feel to it.
Harmony is highly religious and believes in God and keeping herself pure. I liked Harmony's story a little less because of its overly religious touch, which sometimes was just too much.
In our world people aren't always that enthusiastic about teenagers getting pregnant early, so it was a smart move of Megan McCafferty to base her story on a society that depends on teenagers getting pregnant, making BUMPED a provocative and very controverse read.

3,5/5 ***/* BUMPED - YA contemporary queen Megan McCafferty shows her talent to spin mere ideas into an affecting and thought-provoking dystopian novel. 

A future world with advanced technologies and a society plagued by infertility is kicking off debates about teen pregnancy, sex and all different kinds of aspects about adoption, religion and the right to decide what's best for you, your heart and your body.  

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 26th 2011
Length: 323 pages
Keywords: YA, dystopian fiction, romance, teen pregnancy, sex
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I have no idea why I don't read Middle Grade books on a more regular basis. Starting WONDER I expected an emotional story - and emotional it was. It is the story of August Pullman, a boy with an unique facial deformity.
So far he's never attended a regular school, but his first day of school in 5th grade is nearing. It was interesting to witness the process of socialisation and integration of Auggie into the class and seeing how other children reacted to him.
WONDER is told from Auggie’s perspective, an utterly honest and brave little voice. Auggie’s sister Via, his best friends and Via’s friend share their views and reactions on current events and their relationship to Auggie, too. Overall WONDER is written in a very easy and authentic language.
Chapters are rather short and are oriented at Auggie’s events, realisations or experiences. Familiar episodes alternate with Auggie’s experiences in a new school environment, daily life scenarios and the blooming bonds of true friendship, acceptance and respect.

5/5 ***** WONDER - This is a story about many first days of school, moments of bravery and a small boy who shows unbelievable greatness.

Auggie is a truly wonderful boy. What he lacks in conventionally good looks he has in integrity and natural sense for other people's feelings and intentions. He is one of the most adorable MG characters, one who earned my trust in his strength after only a few minutes into his story. 

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 14th 2012
Length: 315 pages
Keywords: Middle Grade, school, friends, family, facial deformity
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Meeting the love of your life in front of a school social worker's office isn't a sweet start? Well, read PUSHING THE LIMITS and reconsider. Echo and Noah both have issues and secrets of their own, but that doesn't keep them from colliding with each other. Logic and reason out of the way, they just want to get the other mad, tease, and get closer, much closer than to any other person ever before.
Their love story is one of the extreme kinds, they are both very torn characters and their romance is just the same.
What kind of threw me off the story, only a small detail that had an amazingly big effect on me liking the story a bit less, were the names Noah and Echo were calling each other. I just can't stand for a girl being called Baby more than once in a story.
The title is well chosen since there's always a constant pushing and pulling marking the relationship of Echo and Noah. They get to tell parts of the story from their perspectives and you see that they are both strong personalities, who are stubborn and not always willing to give in first. Especially chapters from Noah's point of view are marked with strong language, drug abuse, drinking and sex.

4/5 **** PUSHING THE LIMITS – A YA contemporary debut with a scorching love story with depth and an addictively written plot demanding to be devoured in one sitting.

PUSHING THE LIMITS is the first book in the highly acclaimed romantic series by Katie McGarry. Fans of Simone Elkeles should definitely find a new favourite read in Katie's debut novel.

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: July 31st 2012
Length: 392 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, family, loss
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage


  1. Great reviews :D I have a hardcover of Wonder, and I cannot wait to read it. I'm glad you loved the book. <3

  2. I loved Wonder, too! It was such a unique, touching story. Still haven't managed to write a review for it though.
    Pushing The Limits on the other hand wasn't my cup of tea at all (I'm not a fan of Simone Elkeles either), too cheesy and silly :P

  3. I loved Wonder too! I don't know why so many people are currently reading it but I love that it finally gets the attention it deserves!

  4. I haven't heard much about Wonder but the one review I read of it made me add it to my wishlist. I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Sarah.

    I also liked Bumped and Pushing the Limits back when I read them:)

  5. Huh, I'd seen Wonder around the blogosphere from time to time and had a general impression that it was good, but this is the first full review for it that I have actually read. And wow! I don't know why it hasn't caught my notice before because it really does sound like one I would enjoy and a story that would resonate with me. Also, it seems like everyone loves Katie McGarry's books so I should really get to reading them!

  6. I just ordered Wonder in Swedish, looking forward to reading it =)