Nov 18, 2011

Review - Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber (+Giveaway)

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
October 25th, 2011 from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

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.

What a fast and furious read! First thing that I thought of after finishing was Nick & Norah + Son of the Mob = Au Revoir! At just under 200 pages, this story doesn't mess around. We meet the characters - Perry, Gobi, parentals, and a handful of friends - then we are off to the Prom. That doesn't go so well and they cut out early. Gobi has one last request before she heads back to her home country of Lithuania the next day. She would love to take a quick spin through Manhattan. Perry doesn't see this is a great idea, but since he has a gig that night anyway, he goes for it. Within just a few pages, Perry's fathers prized Jaguar is just a little dinged up from the dead body that went flying out of a night club window. This is just the beginning of Gobi's deadly reign. Gobi has some explaining to do (in between shootings), and by the end of the night a few kisses were swapped and they end up at Perry's fathers law firm. Yes, everyone has skeletons in their closet!

Witty dialogue, a BA chick with a gun, and a boy who is literally just along for the ride. Pure entertainment!

Add to Goodreads
You can find Screiber on his website

Schreiber was awesome enough to answer a few questions for me and I'm happy to share them with you:

AU REVOIR is just a tad outside your normal writing world, where did this story come from?
Au Revoir came during a snowy February where I was sitting around waiting for notes from Lucasfilm for the Star Wars novel I was writing.  I was up to my ears in lightsabers and aliens and wanted to write something with a high school guy and an ass-kicking heroine and New York City and prom night and some jokes and maybe some kissing.  It took three weeks or so for the first draft, then it was out and I was happy.

Perry is suckered into taking his foreign exchange student to the Prom. So, how was your prom night in comparison to Perry's?
My prom night compared to Perry's was nonexistent.  I didn't go!  My girlfriend at the time had just broken up with me and I probably stayed home writing instead.

Gobi, who is basically a wet sock in the beginning, transforms into a killer before our eyes. Who were you picturing when you were writing her scenes?
I was picturing a combination of a girl that I had a huge crush on during my freshman year of college, and a human handgun.  I liked the idea that she couldn't be reasoned with, that she was beautiful and sexy but had no problem getting dirty if that's what it took.

What song encompasses AU REVOIR?
Take Back the City by Snow Patrol.  Or, Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast, by Airbourne.  Or Bonnie and Clyde, by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg.

Can you tell us a little about the cover art for the book?
We had about half a dozen possible covers for the book -- maybe more.  We chose this one because it really gave a sense of the blur of New York by night, the contrast of light and dark, and a young woman turning to face the possibilities, dire or otherwise.

Any deleted scenes or concepts that you would like to share?
I used most of them in the sequel, which is due out next year.

Is this the last we'll see of Perry and Gobi? (obviously not, see above)
The next book, Ciao for Now, Crazy European Chick, is due out in fall 2012.  Perry's band is touring in Europe and he runs into you know who at Harry's Bar in Venice.  I got to go there to research it last year and it was a blast.

Thank you, Joe! 

Houghton Mifflin is kind enough to offer a copy of AU REVOIR to one lucky winner!
Fill out the doo-hickey to be officially entered.