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.
©2009 Libba Bray; (P)2009 Random House
Bray has a great idea, but the book is plagued by curse words. Apparently she thinks that all teens must talk that way. She is also stuck in the 80s. This is supposed to be a contemporary book, yet there are references to Star Wars and video arcades (which hardly exist any more). She seems hung up on MTV, with a thinly veiled Carson Daley as a chief annoyance.
The idea, however, of a kid launching on a Quixotic quest while having Mad Cow Disease is great. I also loved having the god Balder stuck in a yard gnome. However, with this set up, the bad guy is obviously swiped from Star Wars (read Luke vs Vader in Degobah) and the ending is a serious let down.
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