Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Series: Perry & Gobi #1
Release Date: Oct. 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Perry Stormaire is a normal high school senior– he is busy applying to college and rehearsing with his band –until he agrees to go to the prom with the Lithuanian exchange student who is staying with his family. It turns out that Gobi Zaksauskas is not the mousy teenager that she seems but rather an attractive, confident trained assassin. Instead of going to the prom, Perry finds himself on a wild ride through the streets of New York City as Gobi commandeers the Jaguar his father lent him for the prom in order to take out her targets. Perry learns a lot about himself – and ends up with some amazing material for his college application essays.
Short of it: The cover for this one is a bit deceiving, but hands down it’s a perfect boy book. Full of action, blood, and a lot more I really enjoyed this fast paced book.
Plot: Oh man, talk about going from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. I have this habit of not knowing what a book is about before going in/guessing the plot from the cover and Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it maybe some chick-lit adventure book, but oh was I ever wrong. Adventure, yes. Chick-lit, oh heck no.
Perry’s prom night will surely be one he’ll never forget. Let’s skip the fact that he didn’t even want to go in the first place, but instead of dancing under twinkling lights he’s becomes an accomplice on a killing spree. Sure, these men may not be “good” guys, but Perry is hardly thrilled to be helping out. Not only does he have to get a handle on the whole murder thing, but he also has to figure out exactly who Gobi is and why she’s on this mission. Gore, action, drugs, under-cover rings…well this book has about everything. The plot truly sucked me in and kept me there until the very end.
The only thing that bothered me a little was the admission scene at the end. I know he was on the waiting list, but by May he should have known if he was in or not. His essay and everything else should have been submitted way before this event ever happened. He should not have been submitting (resubmitting?) anything this late in the game. He should have been choosing classes, dorms, and orientations. I know it may be a small detail, but one I thought was worth mentioning nonetheless.
Character: For the most part, Perry is your typical high school senior. It’s a typical situation of following the path your parents set for you or the path you want. Perry’s father wants him to follow in his footsteps by going to a prestigious school and becoming a lawyer, even though Perry’s true passion is music. Of course, like most kids in his situation, they’ll do anything to make their parents happy even if it makes them miserable. Gobi, is all her insanity, slowly gets Perry to realize this as the night progresses. I applauded Perry as he finally got the nerve to stand up to her father and do what he wanted to for a change. Of course, after the night he had been through, disappointing his father probably seemed like a walk in the park.
Romance: There is quite a bit of tension between Gobi and Perry once she turns from zero to hot, assassin babe. Honestly, I’m not sure why, but this somehow worked for me. Who cares if Gobi is 24 or if she made him an accomplice in murder. Could I see it being anything long term? Oh, heck no. But a fling caused from a shared experience? I would almost bet on it.
Writing: Schreiber creates a fast paced and tightly woven story in under 200 pages. Within the first couple of chapters I was hooked and didn’t want to stop until I was finished. I liked the essay questions that each chapter started with, however, some of them didn’t quite fit and felt a little out of place. Still, it was a nice addition, especially how the book ends. And from what I can tell they were true college essay questions. Overall, I enjoyed Schreiber’s style and look forward to any other YA books he publishes.
Librarian-Mode: This is a great boy book and will work well for anyone who likes action books/films. I’ve been in a film/book match mindset lately (I blame Fab Films!) and the entire time I read this one thought it would be a perfect pairing for Boondock Saints. Book wise, I did agree with the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist pairing. Yes, the plots are completely different, but I think that fast-paced, New York crazy adventure style gives them a similar feel that fans will enjoy.