Sunday, June 27, 2010

Couldn't Embrace It

I have to say that Printz winner Going Bovine by Libba Bray is a book I respect more than I enjoy. I think it is a very legitimate, serious--if you can say that about a book with this much humor--work. But it starts out as another one of those stories about unhappy teen boy outcasts (grandson of Holden Caulfield?) and in that early stage hammers a bit on a couple of targets that we're all supposed to shoot at--standardized tests and Christian fundamentalism. To me it is a cliche at that point, though I recognize that it could very well be brand new to a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old reader. I felt that the trippy road trip section should be something I'd enjoy but it was a little too much let's-see-how-much-weird-cool-crap-I-can-come-up with. Honestly, I skimmed it.

So while I really do respect this book and would suggest that young readers give it a shot, myself, I can't embrace it.

Booklist Online gave Going Bovine a nice review, saying that it's based on Don Quixote. It made me wish I'd read that book because I might have felt much differently about Bovine if I had. As a general rule, I like modern variations on classics.

Bookslut's reviewer was not as taken with the book.

Right now I am binging on series set in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so I might give Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy a shot.

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