Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Day: April 26, 2011
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.
I have absolutely no idea how anyone could have come up with such a twisted, unbelievably freakish and brilliantly awesome concept, so my respects to the author. This is the most unusual dystopia I've ever read, and that's saying something, since most dystopian books are pretty out there.
I totally see how this has gotten such mixed reviews because I was skeptical during the first half of the novel because the jargon or slang used and all the weird technologies are never even explained. The story just launches forward from the first page, never even stopping to explain anything, letting the reader just figure things out. But what with the tiny little chapters and the switching between twins and the whole alluring freakishness of it all, I was physically unable to put down the book.
It was hard for me to take it seriously at first because, come on, Johndoe? Sixteen and pregnant? Long lost twins? And the way they talked! Ha. I swear it was a crazy experience: being so hooked to the book while secretly laughing and shaking my head at the whole thing. But it works. It is brilliant! It has so many concepts and so many messages and so many spot-on complaints of the way the world works. Though yes, it wont be a book for everyone. The obvious highlight of the book is the premise and world built for the story. The characters were okay, but one obviously stood out and for me it was Zen. Loved him!
It has sex language and explicit biological-sexual-related words of course, so it might best suited for older teens. But overall my verdict is that this is seriously (for seriously! lol) one of the most memorable books you will ever read.