Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Page Count: 480
Quote: "A cure. I could be cured. That's what she said. And some little atoms come awake inside me, swirling into a question I can't shake: "Why the hell not?" I could have a chance. And a chance is better than nothing"
Description: Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family's attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease. Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonzo (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World. Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans of her historical fantasies about Gemma Doyle, as she trains her satirical eye on modern education, American materialism and religious cults (the smoothie-drinking members of the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack 'N' Bowl). Offer this to fans of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy seeking more inspired lunacy.
Official Website: Going Bovine
Review: I walked into this book thinking, Wow, this is a pretty long book. Better be worth it. It was.Cameron was such a likeable character, even though he hated the world and would rather spend time smoking in his lonesome than with his family. Gonzo and Balder were awesome sidekicks. They were there for Cameron and made his road trip more bearable. This road trip included driving from St. Jude's hospital in Texas, to New Orleans, Georgia and eventually, Disney World. Dulcie was my favorite character, with her mysteriousness and I loved the storyline of her and Cameron. The dialogue was believable and I found myself laughing whenever Cameron made a sarcastic remark. By page 200, I was sucked into the story, and couldn't put the book down.
The scientific portion of the book had be actually believing in alternate universes, and other theories. Dr. X had me guessing the entire time. What does he know? Can he truly cure Cameron? What happened that night with the Copenhagen Interpretation? Overall, a good mix of science fiction, adventure, and coming of age.