Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Goats by Brock Cole

The Goats

Author: Brock Cole

Publisher: Square Fish

4 out of 5 stars

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  They weren’t supposed to be the ones who it happened to.  They thought it was going to be a funny joke is all.  No one would get hurt, and it would be something that everyone could look back on and laugh about.  No one had any idea that it would turn into something much more than a harmless prank.  They didn’t think it was very funny when they realized that the joke was on them.  They didn’t realize until it was too late.  And by that time, there was no one there to help… except themselves.

It’s a tradition at camp.  One boy and one girl are chosen by the other campers.  They are the “goats.”  The chosen boy and girl have no idea and they think that someone else is actually the goat this year.  So, they go along with it, thinking it will be a hilarious prank.  But what the chosen boy and girl don’t realize is that they have already been chosen.  They are the ones who are going to be stripped down and left for the night on the small island, waiting until morning for help.  Every year it happens, but this year is different from all the rest.  This year the boy and girl actually want to disappear.

Howie and Laura are the two goats who are left marooned on the small island.  They are both bewildered, and scared, as they don’t know what to do.  Do they wait until the morning for help?  Where are they supposed to sleep for the night?  But when Howie and Laura see some people heading back to their little island, they realize they don’t want to be seen in this way.  That would be humiliating, embarrassing.  And so the two set off.  To where, well, they aren’t sure.  But they do know that they won’t be coming back any time soon.  Where are Howie and Laura going to go?  Will they ever be found?  All is revealed, in Brock Cole’s suspenseful tale of two kid’s fight to stay hidden in, The Goats!

The Goats is a gripping novel that had me wondering what exactly would happen next.  As Laura and Howie escape from the island and try to make it on their own, they don’t realize just how frantically everyone is searching for them.  However, as time goes on, they realize that they don’t want to be found.  The Goats is a fantastic book for teens that will have them questioning what their actions are really capable of.

Throughout the entire book, Howie and Laura are referred to as the boy and the girl.  Their names are almost only used when the chapter is being told from a different point of view.  I thought this was very interesting, as it didn’t matter what their names were.  To them, they were in this together and that was all that mattered.  There was no turning back now, and they had to go through with this.  They had made their decision, and knowing each other’s names wouldn’t really change anything.  Disappearing would be a chance for them to start fresh, to start over.

As the book progressed, Howie and Laura both grew on each other.  When they were first dumped on the island with one another they were scared, and didn’t know what to do.  Later on in the story, the two teens were inseparable, and they promised each other that they would stay together.  That even if they were found, they wouldn’t be taken away from one another.  It was interesting to see how the situation that they were put in caused them to grow so fond of one another, when before they might have never even spoken to one another, lest something like this were to happen.

The Goats was told from different points of view, with the majority of the chapters focused on Howie and Laura.  However, it was interesting to see the story unravel from the parents and counselors perspective.  At first, Laura’s mom had ignored her daughter’s requests to come down and pick her up, not realizing that her daughter wasn’t even at camp anymore.  It was sad to think that not only did these kids want to disappear, but they had a pretty good chance of doing so.  It was as if no one would miss them anyway.

It would have been nice to see Howie and Laura’s story go on for even longer.  This book was on the shorter side, with the two teens’ story ending quite soon.  I really enjoyed the shenanigans that they got into, and I would have liked to have read more about their adventures.  I’m glad that The Goats wasn’t drawn out though, as I feel that this would have made Howie and Laura’s story less powerful.

The Goats shows just how far these two teens will go to disappear from the face of the Earth, and how far others will go to stop them.  A powerful book, that tells of two teens story and how their journey has bonded them.  Join the boy and the girl, as one seemingly harmless prank sets off a chain of events that no one could have predicted in, The Goats!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!


  1. Great review! The book sounds pretty interesting, but I see it was released quite a while ago. I'll try to get my hands on it!

  2. Wow this review really peaked my curiosity and made me want to read it to discover their adventures. Great review!

  3. Wow! I can tell you really loved this book and that cover, it's totally compelling! I have to read this one. One thing I love about your blog is your very eclectic tastes in books. I've never heard of this one but it's definitely going on my list! Thanks for the great review!


  4. wonderful review, as per always! The title interested me, (and the author has the same name as a certain closed-eyed character from Pokemone!!), so I read on, and now I'm very interested in this book! I'll definitely have to pick it up :D

  5. Selina- Thanks! This one was released quite a while ago, the original being released in 1987. Square Fish published it more recently as well though, so it might be easier to get your hands on a copy of that print. I hope you enjoy this one!

    Kira- These two teens definitely have some interesting adventures, and it was a lot of fun to read about them! I kept wondering how I would act if I was in the same situation as them. Thanks for stopping by!

    Buried In Books- I agree, the cover is what caught my eye when I first saw this one! It's actually the cover of the newer version though.

    Thanks so much! I really try to read both new releases and older books as well. Just because a book was released long ago, doesn't mean it's not a great read! Plus, I love to read books from all different genres, and I find that there's aspects about each that I really enjoy. I can't wait to hear what you think of this one!

    Sonny- Aw, thank you so much! The title definitely is intriguing, and I know it made me want to find out more. Oh, haha, I know, I thought of Brock from Pokemon when I saw the author's name too! (Haha, he practically never opens his eyes in that show ;p) I hope you enjoy it!

  6. This sounds like an amazing book! I would love to read about how the whole group dynamic changes dramatically as the boy and girl realize they are the goats. It's so interesting the things that people will do to one another and how their perspectives change once they are the target. You've got me really excited to read this now! Great job!

  7. It was very interesting to get to read about how it had suddenly dawned on Howie and Laura that they were the goats. They had been so willing to go along with it before, but once they were the target that all changed. I hope you get a chance to read this one!

  8. Oh my goodness Wow! This book sounds amazing! How have I never heard of this before?!?! I'm DEFINITELY going to have to try and get my hands on a copy of this one ASAP!!


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