Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Posted October 18, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
Going Bovine by Libba BrayGoing Bovine by Libba Bray
Published by Delacorte Press on September 22nd 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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two-stars

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.

Main Points
Writing Style:
I’ve always liked Bray’s writing. It changes to fit the book. Her contemporary writing is great and so accurate.
Plot:
Going Bovine was basically one giant acid trip. I could pretty much tell right away that it was in his head, but as Dumbledore said, why should that mean that it’s not real? So I went with it.
Cameron was an asshole and so was his sister. They had their moments though. Gonzo, the dwarf, was difficult, but Balder (the gnome) was cool. I didn’t have ANY attachments to any of the characters, especially Cameron. He was so awful and dull and lacking in personality. I’m not really sure how I sat through 500 pages of acid. Maybe I was just curious to see what would happen next. It was mostly completely random. It was kinda fun but a little too trippy to be taken to mean anything. I mean, there’s Alice in Wonderland trippy, and then there’s…this. I just couldn’t get anything from it.
The romance was kind of mysterious though, and not really there at all but it was intriguing…I liked that at least.
Ending
And to top it off, the ending was pretty sucky.
I’m creating a new tag just for this- and I never use tags. In honor of this book, the ‘acid’ tag was created to categorize the books I read.
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • randomness? if you can count that as a good thing
  • writing
Less than perfect:
  • everything else…
  • length
  • trippiness
  • characters
  • plot
  • ending
  • etc.
Bottom Line
This book was a huge, long acid trip with unlikable characters, completely random plot, and a sucky ending. Would I read more by this author? I like her other stuff- I’ve read 4 other books by her and they’re all fantastic. Would I recommend this book to others? No way.

About Libba Bray

What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It’s not exactly like I’m going to say “I was born in Alabama…” and somebody’s going to jump up and snarl, “Oh yeah? Prove it!” At least I hope not.
I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor. I could tell you the facts–I lived in Texas for most of my life; I live in New York City with my husband and six-year-old son now; I have freckles and a lopsided smile; I’m allergic to penicillin.
But that doesn’t really give you much insight into me. That doesn’t tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I’d have to go to the ER and have it cut out. Or that I once sang a punk version of “Que Sera Sera” onstage in New York City. Or that I made everyone call me “Bert” in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of. See what I mean?
God is in the details. So with that in mind, here is my bio. Sort of. [see the rest on her Goodreads page]

Rating
Plot
three-stars
Characters
two-stars
Writing
four-stars
Setting
three-stars
Romance
three-stars
Cover
one-star
Overall: two-stars
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