Going Bovine by Libba Bray

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Imagine being told that you have a rare disease and that you are going die. This is exactly what happened to sixteen year old Cameron Smith when he was diagnosed with mad cow disease in Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Cameron discovered that his brain was deteriorating from his illness which made him have many hallucinations while he stayed in the hospital. That’s where Dulcie, an angel that’s probably a hallucination, comes into play. She tells Cameron that he can be cured if he finds Dr. X and helps save the world. His response was simply, “Why the hell not?” With that, Dulcie sends Cameron on a journey across America where he befriends Gonzo, a dwarf obsessed with the Star Fighter movies, and Balder, a talking garden gnome that thinks he’s a Norse God. Cameron ends up on the adventure of a lifetime in this fast-paced novel.
Bray manages to keep a lighthearted and almost ironic tone through the entire story even though its topic is death. I think she values life and believes that you should have an adventure in life. She could have had Cameron stay in the hospital and die instead of having Dulcie come and tell him, “You’re being given a chance. Take it and you might live. Stay here and you will surely die.” Bray clearly wants everyone to live their life to the fullest. I really liked how Bray could write in Cameron’s point of view without losing any of the character. Sometimes authors trying to write from a teenagers point of view get caught up in fancy language and descriptions. Instead she managed to use good sensory language without changing the character.
The only thing I disliked about Going Bovine was that if you didn’t pay enough attention while reading you would be lost. The story moves so fast that you have to make sure you know what is going on. I would recommend Going Bovine to anyone that’s in eight grade or older who doesn’t mind a bit of fantasy. Going Bovine is a whacky adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.





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