- Going Bovine by Libba Bray. 2009 Delacorte Press.
From the author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and The Diviners series, this groundbreaking New York Times bestseller and winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for literary excellence is “smart, funny, and layered,” raves Entertainment Weekly.
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America . . . into the heart of what matters most.
From acclaimed author Libba Bray comes a dark comedic journey that poses the questions: Why are we here? What is real? What makes microwave popcorn so good? Why must we die? And how do we really learn to live?
“A hilarious and hallucinatory quest.”—The New York Times
“Libba Bray’s fabulous new book will, with any justice, be a cult classic. The kind of book you take with you to college, in the hopes that your roommate will turn out to have packed their own copy, too. Reading it is like discovering an alternate version of The Phantom Tollbooth, where Holden Caulfield has hit Milo over the head and stolen his car, his token, and his tollbooth. There’s adventure and tragedy here, a sprinkling of romance, musical interludes, a battle-ready yard gnome who’s also a Norse God, and practically a chorus line of physicists. Which reminds me: will someone, someday, take Going Bovine and turn it into a musical, preferably a rock opera? I want the sound track, the program, the T-shirt, and front row tickets.”—Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Cameron is having a bad year in high school but it’s about to get a whole lot worse. He starts passing out at school, hitting others without meaning to, and seeing things that aren’t there. At first, he thinks it’s bad weed but when medical tests discover he has mad cow disease, he’s given six months to live. While in the hospital, he meets a dwarf, Gonzo, whose mother thinks every little germ could kill. He also finds an angel named Dulcie who wants him and Gonzo to go on an adventure, to find a cure for Cameron.
The two set out, running into a crazed cult, high school and college kids, and scientists along the way. They pick up another friend, Balder, who others think is a yard gnome, but his real story leads Cameron and Gonzo to help him get to Florida where Dr. X, who can cure Cameron was last seen. Along the way, the Snow Globe Corporation puts a bounty on their heads. Can they escape? Will Cameron get the cure from Dr. X?
I had a hard time, at first, liking the characters but eventually, they grow on you. By the end of the book, I was eager to find out what would happen to all. I did have a bit of a problem with the ending, but it does fit.
I’d say it’s worth the read. 4 ****
- Structuring your Novel by K.M. Weiland. Pen for a Sword Publishing 2013.
“I have long wished for a book like this. Structuring Your Novel is so much more than a writing craft book—it’s a recipe to help writers structure a deep, meaningful journey for their hero that will captivate readers from beginning to end.”— Angela Ackerman, Author of The Emotion Thesaurus
“There is absolute gold in this book—and I am grateful that the author has a real talent for distilling some of the somewhat clunky information found elsewhere, into really simple-to-understand and easy-to-follow techniques.”—Robert Scanlon
“This book shows a writer how to structure their novel from beginning to end in a no-nonsense manner. It’s fast and easy reading, and MAKES SENSE!”—Carrie C. Spencer
Structuring your novel picks apart the different aspects of a novel and shows you how to put it back together. It touches on everything you need to know to write a good story with examples from literature. It teaches the act three structure and pinpoints about where you should hit each beat.