Friday, May 03, 2013
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, by Joe Schreiber
As they are heading to the Prom, Gobi promises Peter that, before the night is over, he'll understand her a lot better than he does now. Peter doesn't know how to take that statement or what it means. But when Gobi pulls out a gun and leads Peter on a nerve-wracking marathon across New York City knocking off bad guys, Peter realizes that his initial perceptions of her have all missed their mark!
Fast and fun, there's nothing like a genre-defying book! If we're going to search for a mash-up, this is probably Risky Business's Joel meets La Femme Nikita (although I like the review that called it "Nick and Norah's Infinite Hit List"). Despite the over-the-top action, there's a surprising amount of depth to Peter and Gobi and a nice chemistry between them (although Gobi is primarily relegated to Schwarzenegger-ish monotone). And, like a good action movie, there's humor to drive the story along. I enjoyed the combination of a coming-of-age story with serious gun play and fast car chases.
And then there's the central conceit of the story: the way that each chapter is introduced with a real-life college application essay question, which is then answered in the chapter itself. This works surprisingly well (and also reminded me a bit of Risky Business).
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