Going Bovine by Libba Bray
What a departure from her Gemma Doyle Trilogy! And what an example of how a skilled author can write just about anything. Bray displays her wacky sense of humor and love of smart-ass comments with nary a single ribbon, lace or corset in sight.
The brightest moment in Cameron’s 16-year life was when he jumped off of the It’s a Small World ride at Disney World and almost drowned. Now he finds out that he has mad cow disease and is going to die. But perhaps salvation lies with an angel who has ever-changing wings and wants Cam to save the world and also himself, rather than lie in a hospital bed. Of course, she just might be a figment of his disease-riddled mind. But when the universe hands you mad-cow you may as well try to save it. Cam is joined on his quest by Gonzo, a germ-phobic gaming dwarf, and Balder, a god trapped in the body of a lawn gnome. If you are ready for a surreal, hysterically funny road trip, jump aboard!
This book had me reading passages aloud to share the source of my laughter. You will not giggle discretely with this novel, instead you will guffaw uncontrollably. It is truly funny on a gut-twisting level. At the same time, Bray is not afraid of mixing tragedy and humor, innately understanding that the pairing leads to bigger laughs. A dark comedy of epic road trip proportions, this is also a novel that is deep, offering insights into life while making you laugh. Bray has created a truly great character in Cam, a boy who can do nothing right and suddenly has to save the world in order to save himself.
A surreal rocketing ride of humor, this book is about as far as you can get from Victorian fantasy. Bray lifts herself to another level of writing, showing that she is unfettered by genre. Appropriate for 15-18 year olds and any adult who still bears scars from their teen years and needs to laugh about them.
Reviewed from Random House ARC gotten at ALA.
Also reviewed by A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy.