Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
by Joe Schreiber
Series: Perry & Gobi, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011
Synopsis: Ferris Bueller meets La Femme Nikita in this funny, action-packed young adult novel.
It’s prom night—and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a much-anticipated gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas—their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student—to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan’s concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad’s red Jag.
Infused with capers, car chases, heists, hits, henchmen, and even a bear fight, this story mixes romance, comedy, and tragedy in a true teen coming-of-age adventure—and it’s not over until it’s “au revoir.”
I thought about those South American cattle farmers who shoved the weakest, scrawniest cow in the river upstream, protecting the rest of the herd while schools of piranha ripped the poor sacrificial heifer to shreds. Whether or not that actually happened, I didn’t know or particularly care–as a social model for high school dynamics, it was too cruelly perfect.
“I liked you better when you were this geeky quiet exchange student.”
“Well, perhaps I liked you better when you just shut your mouth and stared at my chest,” she said, “but we cannot always get what we want in this world.”
- This book is a romp through New York City in Perry’s dad’s Jaguar! I like the above description: Ferris Beuller meets La Femme Nikita. That’s the vibe for this book. I didn’t take it too seriously.
- It takes place mostly in one night–prom night.
- It reminds me a little of the British movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. That movie is violent, but also funny. This book is mostly funny and light, but also violent and serious at times–especially when I least expected it.
- Starting each chapter with a question for a college essay entrance application is very funny and apropos since Perry is a high school senior and is waitlisted for Columbia University.
- I like both Perry and Gobi a lot.
- Because the book is both funny and violent it’s kind of hard to know how to respond. The book is pretty light most of the time, but is also serious at other times.
All in all, I like this book. It isn’t one to take too seriously which in some ways is too bad because there are serious parts to it. But maybe being too serious would make a young adult book seem too preachy.
Have you read this book? How did you like it?
With this book I’m participating in the following reading challenges:
- The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog.
- The Book Bingo Challenge.