Maybe if I liked deep, philosophical thinking.
Maybe if I were a stoner.
Maybe if I read more classics.
There are quite a few maybes that came to mind when I was wondering why I didn’t really get into Libba Bray’s “Going Bovine,” which won the 2010 Michael L. Printz award. Whatever the reason – or combination of reasons – I just didn’t dig it.
Cameron is 16, a stoner, a frustrating disappointment to his parents, twin sister, teacher and fast-food-joint boss, and he’s fine with that. He’s merely passing time until … something. Then he is diagnosed with mad cow disease and is given mere months to live.
While in the hospital undergoing experimental treatment, he’s visited by Dulcie, a punk angel with ripped fishnet stockings and pink hair, and is sent off on a mission to save the universe. Dulcie gives him a wristband that will keep his symptoms at bay while he’s saving the world, and he takes along with him his classmate and hospital roommate, a dwarf called Gonzo.
Hijinks ensue, the duo meet a jazz legend and befriend a yard gnome. They join a cult and hang out at an MTV-esque spring break house. All while battling the Bad Guys and searching for the mysterious Dr. X, who will not only help save the world but also cure Cameron.
Pretty crazy, no?
I must admit that my biggest gripe with the book was how predictable it was. Before you groan, roll your eyes and say “It’s only a YA novel,” JUST WAIT. The book is pretty in-depth and is packed with smart-people literary allusions. It’s one that’ll make you think.
I just knew where it was going from the start, and, for a plot-driven book, that’s kind of a let down.
I honestly can’t recommend it, but then again, fantasy-types really aren’t my cup of tea.
Up next: “Very LeFreak,” by Rachel Cohn