Title: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
Author: Joe Schreiber
Publisher: Houghton Mufflin Books for Children (October 25, 2011)
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.
I requested Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber because it seemed so different than many of the YA novels I typically read. Clearly, I'm a fantasy fan. However, I love reading contemporary, literary, and all other kinds of YA. I just have a tendency not to pick them up as much. That said, this book was even more different than I expected. It wasn't just the genre. It was the style of writing.
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick reminds me of an action movie. There's high speed chases, heavy duty guns, a hot chick, and one crazy night. Everything happens fast, in short, clipped scenes. The book itself is quite short (190 pages) and the chapters could be as little as a couple pages. The writing lends itself well to action. No flowery language or unnecessary details. Readers get what they need to know and not much more. This helps keep the pace up.
I would definitely describe Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick as "boy-friendly." There's a male POV and the narration is authentic guy. Perry is open and straightforward in his thoughts and actions. He doesn't muse over any situation longer than absolutely necessary. His voice drew me into the novel immediately because he seemed like such a typical guy, and one that has been well captured through the writing. Plus, Perry's a pretty likable character.
Throughout the story, I had mixed feelings regarding Gobi. I didn't always understand her actions and reactions, though I did understand quite a bit more by the end. About 2/3 of the way in, I decided I definitely liked her.
The only real problem I had with the story is that you have to suspend your understanding of reality. Now, I'm not an expert, but I'm fairly certain some of the things that happened in the book are pretty much physically impossible (let alone how unlikely they are, even if they could happen). With this type of book, it didn't bother me. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick is not intended as a realistic portrayal of life, so it makes perfect sense that some aspects would be included because they make a good story, even if they aren't realistic.
Final thoughts: Borrow.