Again! Again I thought this was going to be a weird book, and it was, but again, it was pretty darn cool in the end. Luckily (or unluckily?) it looks like my next few reads will be “normal” books… we’ll have to see how that goes. 🙂
Back to the weird book. So there this kid, Cameron, who lives a pretty regular teenage life. He goes to school, he gets his C’s, he smokes some weed, he has a lame job, he’s distant from his parents and sister… fairly normal. But then one day he starts seeing really weird things, with stuff catching on fire and angels walking around and weird people standing in the street but then not standing in the street. His parents, naturally, think he’s totally on the hard drugs, and so does the drug counselor they make him see. But soon they wise up, and Cameron ends up in the hospital with a diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob and not much time to live.
In his disease-fueled dreams, Cameron gets a quest from an angel to go find a Dr. X that will cure his CJD and sets off with his dwarf roommate on an awesome road trip. This trip includes stops at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, at the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack ‘N’ Bowl (curiously abbreviated CESSNAB), and eventually at the MTV-equivalent Party House in Florida. It’s a little weird, but with all the references to it throughout the book, I’m assuming the story follows along with Don Quixote, one of those books that I never had to read in school but should probably get around to reading someday. A quick glance at that Wikipedia page certainly shows a lot of connections in names of things, at least, so I’m going to run with it.
As soon as it was made clear that the whole quest bit was a fever dream, I was 100 percent behind this book. I loved the way that Bray interwove Cameron’s dreams with his real life up to this point and his current hooked-up-to-tubes status. And the way she made ridiculous things like dimension-traveling rock groups seem totally real with the perfect small details. And, of course, I am a sucker for a decent road trip novel, and I think that any road trip that involves a Norse god trapped as a yard gnome is a road trip I want to be on. 🙂
Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.