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Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary mixed with some fantasy elements

Release Date: 9/22/09

About the Book: All Cameron wants to do is graduate high school-and maybe get a date with popular girl Stacy. When 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a crazy turn. An punk rock angel named Dulcie shows up and tells Cameron there's a cure with a mysterious Dr. X-he just has to go and find it. With the help of a dwarf named Gonzo (who has some mother issues) and a yard gnome who just might be a Norse god, Cameron is off on the trip of a lifetime.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: So I actually got an advanced reader copy of this one and was excited to read it, but the premise just sounded strange-and not like my typical read, so I kept putting it off. Then the Printz committee awarded this one with the Printz medal and I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which I think worked well with this book.

It's a trippy book-and it's pretty hefty, coming in at almost 500 pages (or twelve audio discs in my case). It's also a book that won't work if you like everything to work out nicely and not be wondering was this a trip or was this real? It's defiantly the craziest road trip book I've ever come across!

I have to praise Ms. Bray's writing and I can see why this won the Printz. The writing captivated me. I really believe she writes boy characters better than any other female author. Cameron read just like my teens-he felt real and his voice was spot on. Just for that, this book deserves your attention.

Even though my knowledge of Don Quixote doesn't go much past the
Wishbone version (sad, I know) from what I do know of the story, Ms. Bray gives us a modern twist with Going Bovine and it's a perfect nod to the classic. I would love to see this one paired with Don Quixote for a lit circle or book club-it'd make a great discussion.

I didn't find it as laugh out loud hilarious as some other reviewers have, but I did find it to have lots of humor and lots of heart, which sometimes is a hard mix to pull off-but again, Ms. Bray does it seamlessly. Cameron's observations about life, love, family, and friendship are all things that teens will relate to and I think many readers will be nodding along to Cameron's words. There's also some romance and adventure, which is always good.

I think the Printz committee was brave and original for picking this one and I'm impressed with their choice. I'm eager to hear feedback from my teens about this title-I've had one girl read it already and she called it "interesting and different." I don't think it will appeal to all readers, but those that it works for will find a gem of a book.

Audiobook Note: I didn't really like the narrators voice for Dulcie-she sounded too flighty and spacey didn't fit my picture of her. But otherwise the audiobook was excellent.

Full Disclosure: Even though I recieved an ARC from the publisher, I checked out the audiobook from the library to read this one.


  1. I have been wanting to read this one. There are so many mixed reactions for this one even after Printz that I want to read it immediately to see what I feel about it. I am buying this as soon as my bookstore gets it ..

  2. I gave up on this one about half way through the book. Just not for me. It's certainly original but I've never been a fan of the road-tripping, Kerouc-ish stories that may or not may be hallucinations. My teens aren't tripping over to get this book unfortunately. I put it out on display constantly and it rarely gets picked up.

  3. Shweta-I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one-I hope you get to read it soon.

    Sarah-I don't think the teen appeal is high, but I have a few teens I think it'd be perfect for. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I had read it-the audiobook really helped.

  4. A young lady in my Teen Advisory Board is reading and reviewing this right now.She's loving it so far!Will let you know when her review goes up on my blog.

  5. Libba Bray just sounds like such a great author. I'm so intruiged by her writing. This book sounds so strange and unique, which just interests me more.
    This review has convinced me to read this book. :]

  6. I really want this book. I need to pick up a copy as soon as I can. I have such random taste in books, I think I'll like it. And someone mentioned Kerouac...I did love On the Road.


    I don't know if you entered the Holey Donuts giveaway or not, but if you could check out this post and do so for my blog, it would mean a TON for my family and you can enter for the book afterwards too if you wish (White Cat by Holly Black ARC)!:

  7. I've been wanting to read this one.

    Have you read Bray's other books? How does this one compare to those?

  8. Court-I haven't read the entire series, but I've read A Great and Terrible Beauty. I'm not sure if there will be much cross-over fanbase. One is a gothic romance, and the other is a very trippy, realistic fiction road trip. If you're a fan of Bray's writing, I think you would enjoy it, but I don't think the subjects compare at all.

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

    Thanks and have a nice day!


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