Monday, August 29, 2011

Bonjour, amazing action-packed adventure

Au Revoir, Crazy European ChickAu Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, people like to compare this book to two movies: Ferris Bueller's Day Off meets La Femme Nikita. And while that description might be apt, it does this novel a total disservice. Never has a literary mash-up so understated the value of a YA novel. Even saying it's Stormbreaker meets Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist doesn't come close to describing the depth and adventure of this wild ride of a novel.

Perry Stormaire makes a lot of sacrifices to keep other people (mostly his father) happy, so when his mother asks him to ditch his band's first big gig in NYC to take their socially inept exchange student Gobija Zaksauskas to the prom...that is where he draws the line. Yet his parents--and even more surprisingly, Gobi herself--won't take no for an answer. But with the help of his father's beloved Jaguar and a little push from the school bully, Perry just might be able to make an appearance at prom and still show up at his gig. Unfortunately, Gobi has her own ideas for the evening. Ideas that involve scary thugs with even scarier tattoos. Ideas that involve car chases and fiery explosions. Ideas that involve sexy tangos and bear fights and getting shot and international slave trade and corporate espionage and even making out with a real-life femme fatale. This is going to be a date Perry will never forget.

First-time YA author Joe Schreiber explores the complexities of the father/son relationship and how sometimes being your own person means you have to adjust your dreams. He challenges your view of good and evil and asks you what you would be willing to do for the people you love. By opening each chapter with an real college application essay prompt, he connects you to what Perry is experiencing and makes you think about your own answers. And the best part? It isn't over yet. While this book easily stands on its own, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.

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