Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Published by Delacourte Books
Date Published: September 22, 2009
Rating: 5/5

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.
Holy strangeness. This story starts out normal, perhaps even edging on mundane; a normal teenage boy, going to a normal high school with a normal, boring life.

And then he gets Mad Cow disease.

(Which isn’t really possible. I promise. I checked. It is still fatal. But only to cows.)

Then Cameron heads off on a mad dash adventure across the US with a hypochondriac little person named Gonzo and a yard gnome descended from the Norse gods named Balder in order to find Dr. X who has a cure and running from fire giants, all with the aid of an angel named Dulcie.

Say what?

I wouldn’t say that this was an easy read, it’s a brick of a book and took me several days to get through the decently thick prose. However, I can’t say there were many slow spots, instead everything was fast-paced and very, very humorous. I mean there are some truly nerdy science and geek humor, and I for being both a nerd and geek, fully appreciated it.

And then of course the characters were all unique and delightful, though, I personally think Balder is a scene stealer. Every word out of that gnome’s mouth was very Lord of the Ring-sy and made me want to cry with laughter.

By the way, this is a Printz winner. THAT should be able to convince you of something right there! A last little note. Read the acknowledgments section. It is hi-larious! Now, I haven’t read Bray’s Gemma Doyle series yet, but I am sincerely looking forward to her new book Beauty Queens and have heard it is quite hilarious.

I leave you with some funnies:

"Dude, this is a stoner conversation and we're not even high.”

"Think: who has vans, huh? Soccer moms and serial killers."

"Look, I know this seems a little half-assed...' 'No, dude. I'd be thrilled if this plan were half-assed. This is, like, no-assed.' 'You're right. It's the most no-assed thing I've ever done in my life."

“The world's most badass Viking yard gnome is on the counter by the cash register using a dinner plates as a shield and a steak knife as a sword.”

“ ‘Wonderful costume. I'm a bit of a role player myself on the weekends. Tell me, where did you get the helmet?’ ‘It was forged in the North, blessed by the hands of Odin, given to me by my mother, Frigg.’ ‘Lovely. I got mine on the Internet.’ ”

-Reviewed by Jennifer



  1. Been on my to read pile for a while. Need to make time to pick it up.

  2. Holy strangeness is right. I was a little turned off by the denseness of the prose. It felt too much like it was trying to be this literary masterpiece with all this hidden symbolism.

    BUT, at the same time, it was also entertaining. I listened to the audiobook of this story and the voice the narrator did for Balder was hilarious! And I loved the Scene at the Church of Eternal Satisfaction Snack and Bowl. That was one of the few scenes where I didn't feel like I had to peel away the layers because the lesson was right there, out in the open.

    Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but yeah, definitely took some trudging to get through.

  3. I have had this book for months now but haven't really gotten in the mood to for it! Just reading the description is confusing but your review has made me want to finally pick it up and read it! Especially the excerpts which are great! Also looking forward to Beauty Queens, looks INCREDIBLE!

    Happy Reading
    Blakeley :-)

  4. Fantastic review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day!