Review Blog

Mar 05 2012

Au revoir, crazy European chick by Joe Schreiber

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Electric Monkey, 2011. ISBN 9781405259439.
(Age: 13+) ALA 2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers. Perry Stormaire is persuaded by his parents to take the Lithuanian exchange student, Gobi Zaksauskas to the senior prom. The bribe of having his father's Jag to drive sweetens the ordeal for Perry, who really doesn't want to take the unattractive young girl out. Instead he wants to play in his band which has finally got a gig at a nightclub. It turns out that Gobi is a highly trained, attractive assassin who is out for revenge and Perry is in for the ride of his life.
Each short, snappy chapter starts with an essay topic from a leading university. This gives a fresh and funny approach to the writing, which is done in the first person by Perry.  Through his writing the reader finds out about his bossy lawyer Dad, his band, and his hopes for his future. Best of all, the reader is taken on a high octane ride through New York as the hapless Perry is forced to drive his father's Jag as a getaway car after Gobi carries out her assassinations.
The action is so fast and the suspense so thrilling, that I was compelled to suspend belief and read this in one sitting. Smart writing and funny asides from Perry added to the enjoyment. Schreiber gave enough information about his characters to make them believable, and the hint of romance was a nice touch.
It is sure to be a hit with both boys and girls and is certainly one to tempt reluctant readers.
Pat Pledger

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