Can’t wait hear more about Megan McCafferty’s new book, Bumped? Ever wonder whether McCafferty prefers Edward or Jacob (or other)? Want some reading recommendations? Then check out the interview below! And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Bumped here.
Megan McCafferty is the bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings and Perfect Fifths.
Q. Your new book, Bumped, takes place in a dystopian future where women become infertile when they turn eighteen. What was it like imagining this world? Was it ever scary?
A. What’s scary is how every aspect of the book is inspired by real life, the result of a year’s worth of research before I even began writing the first draft.
Q. In a promo video for Bumped you say that it’s different from other dystopian novels in that it will make readers laugh. Was it difficult to find humor in a genre that’s usually so serious?
A. Bumped is as much–if not more–satirical as it is dystopian. I’m setting up what happens when extreme thinking crowds out more moderate approaches to social problems. Because the world and the characters are intentionally over-the-top, it was easy to mine dark humor from such an apocalyptic scenario. You laugh, but it’s an uncomfortable laughter where you ask yourself, “Should I be laughing at this?”
Q. Would your teen self have identified more with Melody or Harmony, the main characters from the novel?
A. As a suburban overachiever, I would have identified more with Melody. But I could definitely relate to both girls’ struggles against parental, peer, and cultural expectations.
Q. What’s your favorite moment in Bumped?
A. My favorite scene is the after school meeting of the Pro/Am Pregg Alliance, basically a club for girls that encourages pregnancy. Despite their obsession with getting pregnant, these girls aren’t all that different from social-climbing, backstabbing, gossiping girls that make high school hell for the rest of us.
Q. Do you have any theories on why dystopian stories have become so popular for young adults recently?
A. Bumped, like other popular dystopian novels, is about defying the social order. And is there another time in life where you feel as oppressed as you do in high school?
Q. In your essay for A New Dawn, the Smart Pop anthology on Twilight, you talk about the appeal of bad boys (notably Edward Cullen and Marcus Flutie, the cute bad boy from your Jessica Darling series). Are there any other irresistible bad boys in Bumped?
A. Jondoe is the most famous Reproductive Professional in the world, which means he’s a flawless physical specimen who gets paid to charm girls into bed. Harmony is the first girl who disarms him, and he actually lets her in on a huge secret. By the end of the book it’s still unclear whether he’s a good boy gone bad, or a bad boy gone good. That’s what the sequel is for!
Q. We’ve asked all of our A New Dawn contributors so far: are you on Team Edward or Jacob? (Or other?)
A. Sorry, but I have to go with Team Other. I like my objects of lust more on the human side.
Q. Are you planning on going to see Breaking Dawn?
A. I will because it’s such a pop cultural phenomenon.
Q. What are you working on right now?
A. I’m revising the sequel to Bumped so I can resolve that cliffhanger as quickly as possible.
Q. If you could recommend one book (besides your own, of course!) what would it be?
A. There aren’t many satirical dystopian YA novels out there, so Feed by M.T. Anderson was a huge inspiration for me. It’s hilarious, subversive and thought provoking, all things I hope readers will say about Bumped!