–review by Kara, teen reviewer
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
This is the story of how Cameron Smith, a disappointment to all teen, somehow finds himself diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease (hence the title) and journeys across America with a dwarf who has a crippling sense of paranoia, a lawn gnome who claims to be an ancient Norse god, and an angel who no one else can see to find the cure.
Not gonna lie, this book was really weird. Like trippy weird. Most of the time I had no idea what was going on, but by the middle of the book, you kind of just learn to roll with things. But hidden amongst all of the weird situations and people there is satire. If you look closely enough (well for the most part they’re pretty obvious), some of the elements inside of Cameron’s world are pointing out society’s flaws, such as state implemented standardized testing, “Why Thinking Can Cost You on Test Day.” Juxtaposed next to all of the other weird things, the book makes you start to think about how weird and backwards our society can be.
The biggest flaw of this book is how it starts out. For the beginning half of the book I found all of Cameron’s cynical narration and view of the world to be aggravating and all of character’s surrounding him had a surreal edge to them that was more annoying than endearing.
But, once you kind of get the basic idea that nothing will make sense, the book begins to grow on you. It definitely has a unique storyline that eventually draws you in because once you see Cameron, the kid who used to be the epitome of ambitionless, start to care about life, you start to care too.
Overall, I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a weird, slightly satirical, story but not to anyone who can’t stand a protagonist who’s so cynical it sometimes make you want to throw something at him. 5 stars. –Kara, teen reviewer
Find the book in our library: Going Bovine