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by Megan McCafferty

Published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2011
323 pages
ISBN: 978𢠢61962745

Age 13 and older

An unexpectedly funny and understandably pr ovocative science fiction novel is set in the not-too-distant future when a virus has rendered everyone infertile after young adulthood. Teen girls are now encouraged to get pregnant. Identical twins Melody and Harmony were given up for adoption at birth (prior to the virus). Harmony grew up in a conservative religious community where girls are expected to marry at thirteen and quickly become mothers. Melody was raised in Princeton, N.J., by high-achieving college professors who expect great things from their daughter ... on the reproductive front. They抳e engaged a high-power agent who has matched Melody with a couple wanting a baby. Melody is anxiously waiting for the couple to choose a male for her to 揵ump with. Meanwhile, Harmony has arrived on her doorstep. Harmony says she wants to help her sister reject the path she抯 on and find God. In truth, it抯 clear both teens are struggling with the expectations of their families and societies. Alternating between Melody抯 and Harmony抯 distinctively delightful points of view, Megan McCafferty抯 novel sheds light on our present-day cultural fascination with 揵aby bumps and celebrity (when Melody抯 match is finally chosen, it turns out he抯 the most famous sperm donor in the country) while challenging readers to think about issues of free will, privacy, peer pressure, feminism (pretty much nonexistent in this future) and how cultural norms are shaped and can shift. The abrupt final chapter hints at a sequel in the works.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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