Title: Going Bovine
Author: Libba Bray
Publication date: September 22, 2009
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.
Oh, man. This book is amazing. It starts off normal enough, with your typical unmotivated high school boy being lazy, smoking weed, sneaking around, etc. I almost stopped reading as I thought, "Oh great, this is going to be one of those depressing books about some unappreciative slacker kid who barely passes high school and ends up nowhere in life." But there was something about the style of writing that told me I should hang in there and it would be worth it, and it most definitely was. After a couple of bad hallucinatory experiences, Cameron discovers he has mad cow disease, and from then on the book just explodes with imagination adventure and takes you on a completely wild ride where you're unsure what's up and what's down.
While filled with plenty of humor and adventure and a plot that will make you wonder if you might be tripping on something or going crazy as well, Going Bovine also made me take a look inside my own life, at the importance of LIVING instead of just existing, and how the relationships and experiences you encounter can make all the difference. When reading this book, you will laugh. You may cry. You will scratch your head at the absurdity of it all. Ultimately, you will likely come away from it with a new appreciation for life itself, and if like me this is your first time reading a Libba Bray book, you will have found yourself a new favorite author.
Overall grade: A