Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
[October 25, 2011]
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 remembered when I was browsing my library's ebook system and found this that a lot of people had really liked it when it first came out. Enough that it made an impression on me and I remembered this almost three years later. But I also knew it was a REALLY short book and I don't like buying short books in hardcover I haven't read. It's weird, but I feel like I get more bang for my buck when I buy longer books, even if they are a dollar or two more. So I was waiting for the paperback...then I could never FIND the paperback in stores. Then I find the library copy and problem solved.
Obviously, I've had a lot of time to think about this book and what could happen in it. But I still didn't expect what I got.
It was a non-stop adventure ride, honestly. It takes place almost entirely within the same day and it's constantly throwing something new at you. I don't read books like this often, books that are almost purely adventure novels, so it was refreshing to take a break from the norm and read something like this. It was also just a lot of fun. There was so much going on and the whole motivation and plot line isn't exactly light hearted, but it had a lot of funny moments and it did capture the comedy aspect really well.
I loved the format. One of the things that's made clear early on is that college is a big deal to his family and it's a big part of the reason they took on Gobija. So every chapter started with a college admissions' essay prompt and the chapter would correspond to that in some way. I thought it was a really neat little touch.
I wouldn't call this a favorite read or even really a stand out. It didn't have a wow factor for me and may ultimately be pretty forgettable, but it was a really quick, entertaining read and I already have the sequel lined up to read soon. Definitely worth checking out!