Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Title: Going Bovine
Author: Libba Bray
Category: YA contemporary
Published: 2009

I admit, I had a hard time with the start of Going Bovine, mainly because the main character Cameron is apathetic to an extreme. He's a depressed teenager who bristles at any interaction from family or friends. He doesn't seem to even care about his friends. But as I read on, I realized how appropriate the description is of a depressed teenager, and how it captures a certain perspective of adolescence. I give Libba Bray credit for exploring this type of character. 

Cameron has mad cow disease, but even before the diagnosis, his trippy hallucinations are woven into the narrative so subtely, I think they began even earlier than I first suspected while reading. As the story progresses, the line between reality and a dream-world is intentionally blurred. It gets straight-up wacky, crossing over into satire at times when Cameron visits a cult where everyone has instant-access to smoothies and snacks and every game in bowling nets a perfect score. Add to that a talking yard gnome and visits with a punk angel; you have to suspend disbelief to go along this ride with Cameron. 

Themes are expertly woven into the story; Don Quixote, Disneyworld, old roadrunner cartoons, capturing life's moments within snowglobes. The author threads these themes so well it gives more depth to what could be dismissed as a really silly book. It felt overly long to me, I admit I skipped ahead at one point. I am glad it ended the way it did; even though I expected a different outcome. I appreciated Cameron's journey, and at the end, rooted for him to find meaning in life


  1. I have to say, this one sounds like nothing I have ever read before :)

  2. Thank you for following my site. It is much appreciated.

  3. Sarah, it is definitely unique. Probably not for everyone, but I feel like it's a good diversion from some of the books that get a lot of attention in YA.

  4. I like your review :D Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day!


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