Thanks, Kirkus and PW!

McCafferty proves that dystopias don’t have to be dreary to be provocative. A virus has left everyone over the age of 18 unable to procreate, making teenagers the only viable “breeders” and spawning a pregnancy-obsessed future society. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of two 16-year-old twins, separated at birth: deeply religious Harmony, raised in god-fearing, vaguely Amish “Goodside,” and Melody, whose adoptive parents have been crafting her into the perfect Reproduction Professional or RePro, sought by wealthy, barren couples. McCafferty (the Jessica Darling series) has enormous fun in her first YA novel: tweens, aka “nubie-pubies,” try on Preggerz FunBumps, designed to mimic pregnancy; expectant teens munch on Folato Chips for folic acid boosts; and slang like “fertilicious,” “terminal,” and “barren” is used with abandon. Yet she also raises challenging questions about individuality and morality. There’s a predictable though entertaining identity switch, and readers must wait until the next book to learn if these girls end up with the lives (and guys) they want. The book’s carefree sexuality and exploitation makes it uncomfortable, scandalous, and not easily forgotten—there’s little doubt that’s exactly what McCafferty is going for.” Ages 14–up. Publishers Weekly

“In this well-realized dystopia, a virus has rendered nearly everyone in the world unable to have children after age 18. As a result, teen pregnancies become the only way to continue civilization. Alternating chapters follow two identical twins, Melody and Harmony, who meet for the first time just as Melody is about to begin fulfilling her lucrative contract to “bump” and produce a baby for a wealthy couple. Harmony has left her conservative religious enclave in an attempt to convince Melody to embrace God instead. Everything goes awry when Harmony intercepts the pregnancy agent’s wonderful news: Melody will be “bumping” with the most famous and desirable surrogate father alive. As the story progresses, however, the each twin faces serious doubts about her original plans. McCafferty invents teen slang that rings true, such as “a pregg” (baby), “facespace” and “until our parents’ generation finally takes a dirtnap.” The author keeps her characters lively, giving them distinct personalities, and she clearly takes sides in judging her imagined future society. Despite the futuristic setting, the main focus of the book is a cautionary tale about teen pregnancy and casual, loveless sex. McCafferty includes abundant sexual references, mostly from the enthusiastic high-school girls who compete over their “preggs” and “bumps.” She leaves readers with an ambiguous ending, sure to keep them thinking. (Science fiction. 14 & up) Kirkus

P.S. Seeing my work classified as Sci-Fi gave me a laugh. I never imagined I’d write anything categorized as such!