Book Review: Going Bovine (Spoilers)

Hey, guys! I finished reading Going Bovine this weekend and the discussion has been posted on Young(ish) Adult!

I was very entertained by this book. It was very raw, and I know that could turn some people off, but I loved the way it was written. Bray didn’t really pull any punches, and as far as I can tell, she wrote very accurately from a teenage boy’s perspective.

I did not realize this before reading the book, but it was obvious very early on the book was going to take a very Don Quixote turn. I appreciated the explanation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, because (from what I remember, which admittedly is not a lot) Don Quixote never gave us a clean example of his craziness.

I also really enjoyed the back and forth between Cameron’s adventures and his hospital stay. From the back cover, I assumed there would be a lot more confusion as to whether or not Cameron was actually adventuring or actually dying. However, reading the book, I thought Bray did an excellent job bringing us back to the hospital room, letting us know he was still there, or at least hinting to us that both things were real.

In an odd way, Going Bovine reminded me of the movie, Scott Pilgrim. I liked the importance of music, and probably because of that, in the two big “battle” scenes, I imagined them similarly to Scott Pilgrim battle, complete with 8 bit music notes.

The entire book I kept debating with myself about how Bray would end the story. Was Dr. X his real doctor? Had they misdiagnosed him? Could he win the battle in his adventures and that coincide with an accurate diagnosis and a recovery? Would he die, like I knew was the only real solution?

Gonzo, Balder, and Dulcie were such great characters. Gonzo’s development was stellar. I loved seeing him progress, change, and grow. Balder was so fun (does anyone else keep seeing Loki pop up everywhere? Thor, The Avengers, Going Bovine, American Gods). Dulcie was beautiful, intriguing, and exactly what Cameron needed.

One thing I felt bad about while reading, was that Cameron got all of this closure with his family, something he desperately needed, but it wasn’t real. He and his sister never had that soda, they never re-connected. His mom doesn’t know how much he realized he loved her. His dad doesn’t know he finally understood him. That made me so very sad for his family.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Going Bovine, and I’m certainly intrigued by Libba Bray. I would love to read more from her in the future.