Feb 5, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray



Libba Bray’s Printz winning book pulls snippets from many other books I’ve read. the most obvious comparison is Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mar’s fame). Both books start with the premise of a teen boy smoking way too much pot and doing weird things. In Going Bovine, we meet Cameron, an under the radar weirdo whose about to start making a really big splash in the pool of weird.

Maybe weird things are a trend in young adult literature right now, because I sure have been reading a lot of books that would fall under that classification. But Going Bovine takes weird to a whole new level. It out the same “out there” level as ,Fade to Blue while still staying rooted in something the reader can connect to. I was never really clear what it was about Cameron that I did connect to. I didn’t really want to like him, but I did. And I wanted to go with him on his crazy adventure! Bray pulls her readers through the weird nonsense in a way that Fade to Blue failed to do. She combines humor with excitement for one wild ride.

In English class Cameron is resentfully studying Don Quixote. Little does he know that it will only be a matter of time before he is tilting at his own windmills. Even though this book is laced with drugs, language, and a touch of sex there is something about it that is unmistakably endearing. This isn’t just an adventure you with you were part of, Bray takes you with Cameron and Gonzo every step of the way.

And in the middle of his journey, Cameron even finds himself stumbling upon Utopia, where people make themselves happy by bowling! But if we’ve learned anything from Thomas Moore, the No Place of Utopia means this is no Utopia at all. The enemy of happiness? You guessed it, free thought. The vehicle for free thought, words. The Happy Utopia is over libba-brayrun by shouting revolutionaries headed by a leader reciting poetry.

“That, friend, is the beautiful sound of revolution.”
”Happiness is a fascist state!”
”I just don’t think happiness is a sustainable state. You can’t have it all the time.”

And the words of Hamlet;
”To be, or not to be—that is the question”

And that is just one taste of one moment of the adventures Cameron finds with his vertically challenged friend, Gonzo.

What makes this book so good?
Superb writing and knitting together of stories. You laugh while you turn the page and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next. Bray fully engrosses her reader, so it feels like you are in on the game, the story, the adventure, the whatever it is that is going on.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Feb 2, 2010

January Reflections

Finished 15 books!
These books went towards a nice variety of challenges.
  • 4 Cybils (3 YA, 1 MG)
  • 4 dystopian
  • 1 audiobook (need to do better)
  • 8 from the library

Almost HALF my books read were owned!
Only ONE was an adult selection :(

107 books were purchased (excluding gifts and picture books)
1 book read in January was purchased this month

Best book of January: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

(more later, kiddo wants nothing to do with all this)

Feb 1, 2010

The Demon's Lexicon

Sarah Rees Brennan introduces us to two brothers with a unique and hilarious relationship. But this isn't a story about hugging after the day is over. This book is about kicking butt with big weapons.

In The Demon's Lexicon brothers Nick and Alan have to fight evil magicians to protect their family, especially there emtionally and often mentally abscent mother. Years before their father died trying to do the same.

This urban fantasy novel was interesting and funny. The storyline was different from what I normally read. But if I am going to read fantasy, I want it to be urban fantsy because it is in a world I can understand.

Nick is a British bad boy that Chelsea wishes she could date. He makes Patch look like a toddler. And looks at his lips on the cover, aren't they just begging to be kissed?

The first 40 pages of The Demon's Lexicon had me laughing out loud and sitting on the edge of my seat. But after that, it kind of started lagging. The end definitely had me about to fall of the couch again and redeemed the middle. This book has mass appeal with strong male character, lots of action, unique details, and a hint of romance.

Q: Where did you first get the idea for The Demon’s Lexicon?
A: My father waswatching a documentary on the Discovery Channel and my head snapped up and I said ‘Now that’s interesting.’ (I can’t tell you what was interesting, it would spoil the book!) But let it be a lesson to us all to let our parents watch boring television. You know. Sometimes.

In Nina Lourie's review of The Demon's Lexicon for Tor.com
(you need to check it out, it's excellent!) she says,

I got hooked onSarah Rees Brennan’s blog when friends who were into the Harry Potter fandom recommended it to me. This is what I learned from her wonderful “stumbling towards publication” posts:

Step 1. Have crazy adventures throughout England and Ireland.

Step 2. Accost people, including mechanics, roommates and literary agents, wide-eyed, with an adorable Irish accent while hideously sleep deprived.

Step 3. Gather a group of amazing YA fantasy authors together in an Irish castle and frolic.

The Demon's Lexicon is a fun read from a fun and interesting author!

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know.

Jan 31, 2010

Library Loot - January Week 5

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr.Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Checked Out
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker
Fearless by Francine Pascal
The Iron Heel by Jack London
Night Wings by Joseph Bruchac
The Silver Child by Cliff McNish
The Secret Under My Skin byJanet McNaughton
Fade by Lisa McMann
Genesis by Bernard Beckett
Fade to Grey by Jasper Fforde
Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Okay, so I was thinking I would take it easy on the library books this week. Um...oooops?
It has been fun trying to keep track of what I get out of the library because I always forget books that I started and wanted to check out again. I also have a lot of reading ahead of me!

Going Bovine is my best read of the month (so far). Really need to get it finished! I hate lifting it up to read. (Lazy?)

What's the best book you borrowed from the library in January?

The Sunday Salon - Disappointed

The Sunday Salon.com

January blogging has pretty much been a BIG disappointment for me. I had a lot of plans and did a whole lot of nothing. Is anyone else having a hard time recovering from the holidays? Still?

Even though I haven't been blogging as hard as I wanted, I have been getting my reading done! So far I have read 12 books and I have 3 more on tap for today. I usually read on average a book every two day and I am trying to keep that going strong as I break into the new year. If I get 15 done for the month by midnight tonight I will be right on task!

I have 100 pages left in Going Bovine and I am loving it. Today is mostly going to be dedicated to getting this book finished.

Last night I put a huge dent in Blue Moon and only have about 30 pages left to read. I will reward myself with these pages as soon as I finish Going Bovine.

I have a few options for my 3rd book to finish and have the last ditch option of a really quick juvenile novel with LOTS of illustrations if I end up getting stuck.

What was your best read of the year so far? What book did you enjoy reviewing the most? What book do you want to share with everyone?
I am hoping for a better blogging month in February and a great reading month. I am currently in the middle of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan which I am reading with a friend (more on that later I hope!) I just hope I don't overwhelm myself by wanting to read too much and not having enough time to.
I also only read/listened to one audiobook this month and I hope to be doing better with that. Have any to recommend?
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