Review by Carrie from teabelly
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber is as fun (and odd) as its title implies. Perry Stormaire is a high school senior preparing for college, playing in his band and trying to get his father to butt out of his life. Then his parents invite a Lithuanian exchange student to stay with them and everything goes to hell. Gobi is quiet and wears strange clothing but Perry tries to be nice to her and help her out with school, and then his mother does the unthinkable and makes him take Gobi to their prom.
Only, Gobi doesn’t really want to go to the prom, and nor is she your average exchange student. She’s actually a highly trained assassin intent on revenge, and Perry is going to be her driver for the night. In his father’s prized Jaguar. Together they speed around Manhattan looking for Gobi’s next target as Perry attempts to get away/keep his family safe.
Each chapter is shaped around an essay question from different universities, and these sort of fit into the theme of the chapter. It’s a clever way of shaping the book. It is a very quick read, both because it’s enjoyable and because it’s fast paced. Once Gobi reveals her true identity you’re off on the ride and it doesn’t really slow down until the end. Both main characters are well fleshed out and there’s a lot of humour even though some quite horrid things happen.
And it’s that last part that leaves me unsure about the book as a whole. My book bills it as an ‘entertaining thriller’ and while I suppose that’s true it’s also quite an odd combination. Perry is 18 years old, Gobi, I believe, is actually 24. She has kidnapped this young man and forces him to drive her around while she kills people. It’s sort of like Collateral for teenagers. But should it be so light and funny? Perry witnesses horrible things, things we see through his eyes, should I be horrified one moment and sort of amused the next? Maybe I should, since it’s supposed to be a fun novel, but it made me a little uneasy. There aren’t really any consequences, when really I think Perry would have been traumatised by much of what he saw.
In the end though, I enjoyed it while I was reading and apparently there’s a follow up book. I’d probably read it to see where the story goes, but I kind of hope Perry isn’t caught up in any more of the madness.
Interesting review, thank you Carrie!