Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cameron's been experiencing some weird stuff lately - visions, hallucinations, pain in his body. His doctors eventually find the reason for all of this strange stuff: he has BSE, a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, better known as Mad Cow. His time is running out, but there might be a chance to save his life - at least, that's what the punkish angel tells him - that is, as long as he can track down a time travelling evil genius rogue doctor, whereabouts unknown. To aid him in this trip, he brings along a fellow high school student, Gonzo, a little person whose mother has made overcautious and a bit of a hypocondriac.

I fully admit that I didn't pick this book up until after it had won the Printz, because I'm a bit of a bandwagon jumper. I found the title a bit offputting for reasons I don't think I can fully articulate, and that's what kept me from picking it up. Once I did convince myself to give it a try, the first thing I noticed was that the book is long. It's a hefty book, and Libba Bray packs a lot into it. When reading it, I got the feeling that she knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote it; every word has been carefully chosen, every detail is there for a reason. It's a very well-crafted book, and it knows it, and it doesn't let you forget it. It took me awhile to get used to all of the...I don't know if 'quirkiness' is the right word, so I'll call it 'strangeness,' because this isn't the type of book that I usually read, and there is a lot of strangeness. I think my favourite part of the book was the beginning part, before Cameron is really sick, before all the strangeness, and Bray is setting up the family dynamic.

Here's a video with Libba Bray talking about Going Bovine:

Find it on Amazon.

Read it with:
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Paper Towns by John Green
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Wide Awake by David Levithan
Q & A by Vikas Swarup


  1. I definitely think this is one that will have some die-hard fans, but doesn't necessarily appeal to a wide range of audiences. I admit I couldn't finish it :)

  2. I just bought this book. I too thought the cover kind of hokey and put off buying it. I haven't read it yet. I am looking forward to finding out for myself.