Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

I'm back from the gorgeous southwest!  As all of us book lovers know, one of the best parts of vacation is definitely reading, and I did a lot of that.  Going Bovine was one of the new books that found a coveted spot in my suitcase this trip.                                                        Disclaimer:  This book is weird.  Really, really weird.  Take the weirdest book you've ever read and multiply it by five.  Don't believe me?  The heroines of our novel are Cam, an apathetic sixteen year old with mad cow disease, Gonzo, a hypochondriacal video gaming dwarf, Balder, a sassy yard gnome who happens to be a Viking god, and Dulcie, a riddle-loving punk angel/spirit guide.  And I haven't even gotten started on the plot yet, which is too multilayered and strange to explain well.  Think crazy  quest across the country to find a mysterious Dr. X who may know how to cure Cam, all while fighting through dark forces, personal issues and a nefarious snow globe company.                                                              So what keeps this weird book interesting and not head-spinningly confusing?  Bray's token witty dialogue helps.  The clever conversations between characters are almost as compelling as the ridiculously engrossing plot.  How did Bray write a plot that, despite being completely all over the place and--let me say it again--weird, manages to stay understandable and fascinating?  I'd hazard a guess that it's her wonderfully approachable and very true-to-teenage-life writing style coupled with the plot that keeps on giving, with new layers added on chapter to chapter like clockwork.  I couldn't put it down.  
The best part of Going Bovine was that, despite it being a fairly silly novel, it left me with questions.  Bray expertly weaved funny dialogue and ruminations with serious stuff like the nature of life and death.  This book was a pretty wild ride, but one that was both hysterical and eye opening at the same time.

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