Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Going Bovine

Going Bovine
Libba Bray
September 2009
Reading Level: YA

Can Cameron find what he’s looking for?
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.

Libba Bray is an amazing author, as she proved with The Gemma Doyle Trilogy. However, I think that the events in Going Bovine were just a little too different for me.

This book is filled with crazy circumstances. The whole book focuses on Cameron, who has mad cow disease, and his adventures trying to find a cure for his disease. The adventures he has are totally wacky, for lack of a better word, but something kept me turning the pages. The question that kept me going is whether or not Cameron was hallucinating or not, and it became clearer and clearer as the book went on. 

I will say this, the writing itself is impeccable. I wouldn't have read a book this wacky if the writing was bad, but Libba Bray knows how to draw a reader in.

Lastly, the message of the book was definitely a good one, even if the story itself was weird. It was a tale of love, friendship, and most of all finding yourself. While the content of the book wasn't my cup of tea, the message was great, and the writing was great, and so I'd say there's definitely a reason that this book won the Printz Award, even if I didn't love it the way I wanted it to.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons
Dan Brown
Reading Level: Adult

World-renowned Harvard symboligist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization - the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth . . . the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

Having read Deception Point last year and loving it, I had to give Dan Brown another try. However, I am sad to say that I don't think I'll be reading any more of his books.

 The one thing that I think really ruined my opinion of the book is something I did to myself: I went online and I looked at reviews. And all of the negative reviews said that there are inaccuracies in the book, and so I looked at a list of inaccuracies and it just made the book seem so ridiculous, because apparently Dan Brown doesn't do his research. However, as a work of fiction I can kind of overlook that. Kind of. It's hard to respect a book when the author doesn't do his research.

If I hadn't read any reviews, and if I had just gone and read the book, I probably would have still thought it was just alright. My main problem is that the main character, Robert Langdon, gets out of EVERY sticky situation with hardly a scratch, it seems. This whole book takes place over the course of a day, and I know that if I had a day like he did I would be scarred for life. But everything is peachy. The book goes like this: impossible situation, repeat x 1,000,000, throw in some sexual tension, then end with a twist, and then some love making. Voila, that's Angels and Demons. But of course there's the religious aspect, but I'm ignoring that because it doesn't matter to me. All that matters is that the story was a little exciting, but predictable because by now I've learned how Dan Brown operates, and I'm sure all of his other books are remarkably similar.

Overall: it was okay. But I wouldn't recommend going on a Dan Brown reading spree, because they'll start to blur together and get boring after 2 or 3.