Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Joe Schreiber, Author
Joe Schreiber. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-547-57738-8
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
“I’m eighteen years old. In a month I’m going to graduate, I’m waitlisted at Columbia... and this—whatever this is—isn’t part of the plan.” That’s Perry Stormaire as his prom night goes from disaster, when he’s forced to escort dowdy Lithuanian exchange student Gobija Zaksauskas, to something more like Kill Bill after Gobi turns out to be a stunningly effective (and also stunning) assassin. What follows is a whirlwind night of explosions, shootings, stabbings, and car chases as they traverse Manhattan and Brooklyn with Gobi picking off targets over Perry’s protests. As if this situation wasn’t stressful enough, adult author Schreiber opens each chapter of his YA debut with a college admissions essay question (“You’ve just written a 300-page autobiography. Send us page 217”), which should provide a few more palpitations. It’s very well targeted at male teens, with a breakneck pace, quick repartee, hot cars and women, a well-rendered New York City backdrop, abundant action, and some food for thought about what it means to be a man. Plain and simple, it’s a blast. A couple of them, actually. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
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