Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Age Group: Teens and up, lots of sex talk, death
Summary: When Cameron, a high-school slacker, finds out he has fatal mad cow disease, he sets out on an epic quest to find a cure and maybe save the world, too. Accompanied by his friends -- Gonzo, a dwarf, and Balder, a Viking god disguised as a long-suffering yard gnome (don't ask) -- Cameron faces an increasingly bizarre series of misadventures involving a punk angel, New Orleans jazz musicians, and snow globes in this very postmodern retelling of Don Quixote.
Review: For starters, it was kind of easy to get where the story was going from the start. There wasn't any real surprise from one page to another, and I kind of knew what was going to happen next before I read it...
That being said, this book made me cry. Watching how the family deals with Cameron's illness and how he deals with it really made me think about my own life a bit and those around me and whether or not I really make an effort to get to know people. If you want to be closer to someone or have a good relationship with someone, you're the first person who needs to do something, not them.
How High The Moon By Sandra Kring
Age Group: Teen/Adult (It's a 10 year olds point of view...but a lot of talk about the 'Juicy Jitterbug' and prostitutes sort of brings the rating up)
Summary: The summer of 1955 is a tough one for 10-year-old ragamuffin Isabella, nicknamed Teaspoon, who's been enlisted into a Big Sister–style program that's supposed to teach her civilized behavior. Five years earlier, Teaspoon's mother took off for Hollywood, leaving her boyfriend, Teddy, and her daughter to take care of each other; now a full-fledged tomboy, Teaspoon is paired in the program with popular 18-year-old Brenda Bloom, whose mother owns the movie theater in their suburban Milwaukee town. Sketched with nostalgic sweetness, this hard-luck coming-of-age story sees Teaspoon discovering her talent for singing while getting caught up in plans for the theater's gala re-opening, her mother's promised return, Teddy's budding relationship with Sunday school teacher Miss Tuckle, and Brenda's romantic dilemmas. Kring (The Book of Bright Ideas) gives her young, put-upon protagonist an authentically weary voice, but telegraphs her plot revelations, provoking little emotion beyond the mildly touching. Though the chatterbox heroine makes an engaging narrator, readers may be reminded more of Dennis the Menace than Anne of Green Gables. (From PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY)
Review: The book was sort of bland, and the entire time you knew what was going to happen after the first couple of chapters. I wasn't really surprised by anything in the book. It was pretty straightforward and was like a few other books that I read when I was younger about the tomboy girl being the only one to have her head on straight when everyone else thought it was on backwards.
This novel does explore some not lighthearted themes but the book itself WAS lighthearted. Some of my favorite characters were the prostitutes and the darkest theme of the story was rape but it was only mentioned for a page as it had nothing to do with Teaspoon. I did think the book was sweet and it was a quick read that ended on a happy note so if you need a pick me up story after a sad story (say... Going Bovine this would be a good book.