Mondays with Megan…On Tuesday: Going Bovine by Libba Bray Review

Hi All,

Sorry I missed you yesterday but 1.) I was having a much-needed and enjoyed day off and 2.) I do not plan ahead well enough to have had a post ready in my absence. I am considering adding “do not procrastinate” to my New Year’s Resolutions list, but there’s still plenty of time to think about that later.

I know I should have spent my time catching up on reading, but I finally mastered the art of the knitting loom so I spent most of my free time watching terrible movies and knitting pretty scarves. I finally got around to seeing The Vampire’s Assistant, which is based on the book by Darren Shan. I have mentioned here before that I am really enjoying the manga version of this series, so I am sad to report that the movie was very disappointing. It just didn’t work for me. The cast didn’t line up with what I imagined, the special effects were hokey, and some major changes were made to the story line. If you don’t plan to read the books you may enjoy the movie, but if you’ve read the books you may be disappointed too.

I finished two book over the weekend. First, I finished listening to Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I can safely say this was one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. It’s the story of Cameron, a teenaged boy who is diagnosed with Mad Cow disease. With little time left to live he and his dwarf friend Gonzo set out on a quest to find a cure and save the universe. Along the way they pick up Balder, a viking god trapped in the body of a yard gnome. Their guide along the way is a  punk-rock angel. The entire time I was listening I really could not decide if I liked the book. There were hilarious laugh-out-loud moments and Cameron’s deadpan sarcasm was perfect. I loved Balder and the role he played in the quest. But did I like it? Well, it’s been almost a week since I finished and I am still thinking about it. I am still laughing about parts and I am still trying to figure out who should read it next. I miss Cameron, Gonzo, and Balder on my way to work in the morning. I find myself wondering about what happens next. After mulling things over for a few days I can confidently say that yes, I did like it. I liked it a lot in fact. It’s certainly a strange book and probably not for everyone, but if you are looking for a hilarious/touching/thought-provoking/social commentary/quest book with an angel, midget, and garden gnome than this book is for you! I am also told that it parallels the story Don Quixote by Cervantes. So if classical literature is your thing you might be interested in this modern version. This book is destined to become a cult classic. Spread the word.

I also read the much-anticipated Matched by Ally Condie. This is a love story set some time in the future. Everything is orderly and safe because everything in life is planned from birth to death. When 17-year-old Cassie learns that her life-long best friend Xander is her Match, she is thrilled. Her excitement turns to doubt when a series of events leads her to begin questioning the order imposed by the Society.

I will admit that despite my excitement for this book it took me a minute to get into it. I feel like it got off to a slow start and I had a few admittedly nit-picky issues, but about a third of the way in the pace picked up and never slowed down. I was totally sucked into the drama of the Cassie-Xander-Ky. The story is sweet and suspenseful and I can’t wait for the sequel. Fans of dystopian fantasy will enjoy this as much as romance fans. I would not hesitate to give this to tween and teen readers. The cover is pretty cool too!

Ok, that’s all for me today. Happy Reading!



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