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.
This book gets an A+ for originality. The whole idea of only teenagers being able to have children and the effects on society is thought provoking. I looked forward to reading this book. The idea behind it seemed fabulous. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed. My poor balloon of anticipation was deflated soon after starting the book.
I hate focusing on negatives in books. I think every piece of literature has at least one positive aspect. As I already said, originality is a plus for this book. I also really like the characters Zen and Melody. They were a nice pairing. Zen didn't fit into any of the norms for the new society, which made him instantly likeable. He had a wonderful charismatic personality and a "screw it" attitude. Melody was conflicted. She was destined to be a surrogate, but the idea never set well with her. I liked her whole transformation from follower to leader. If the book only focused on these two characters, I would have loved it. They made the book.
Unfortunately, there were other characters. Harmony, Melody's long lost identical twin, and Johndoe. I could not stand Harmony's character. I thought she was a scheming, double crossing, "godfreaky" witch. I know that's not the way I was supposed to feel about her, but I couldn't help it. The moment she saw Johndoe's image and realized that he was supposed to be the other half of the surrogate for Melody, she decided to counterfeit Melody's identity to try to "convert" the gorgeous piece of man meat. What a load of crap. There was no intention of conversion. Let's call it like it is-- she was a lusty hooch. Honestly. Bah! Needless to say the entire concept behind Harmony ticked me off. With each page that focused on her I became more irritated. I didn't even want to read her chapters! But I knew I had to in order to know what was going on. Then there was Johndoe. He was flat and boring. So disappointed.
The other thing that irked me about this book was the over the top stereotypes. I know with satires (which this book falls into that category) you tend to magnify the stereotypes, but this book fell short. I think that Mel's part in the book was well thought out. Again, I really liked her character. She was conflicted and more believable. But Harmony's role was a waste of my time. Am I really supposed to believe that she justified cheating on her husband (who may or may not be gay-- WTH?!) because she thought she was doing God's work by sleeping with Johndoe and furthering the population? That just made my blood boil. She was so easily swayed. She came across as a self-righteous floozy.
And then there was the ending! What a mess. It was so rushed and ill-suited to the whole book. Harmony instantly knows she's pregnant and realizes she made a mistake by sleeping (several times) with Johndoe. So she goes back to her husband, Ram, and they decide to return to their commune and raise the child as their own in outcast mode. Lame. Oh, and then Johndoe miraculously shows up on Mel's doorstep looking for Harmony because he loves her, but he's too late. So together, he and Mel, set off to find Harmony. At least that's what you're supposed to assume since it never shows what decision Mel and Johndoe reach.
I know a lot of people liked this book. I just wasn't one of them. It bothered me on so many levels. If it only focused on Zen and Mel, it would be much better. If I had a do-over, I wouldn't bother reading this one. I am so thankful it was free on Netgalley, and I didn't spend money on it. I even took it off my R.A.K wishlist. I don't want anyone spending money on this one (on my account).