Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review of: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

My rating: 2/5

I found this book on an internet list of books to read. The title was alluring to me, evoking as it did a culture clash of America and Europe and some form of budding teen romance. It promised laughs galore and some level of adrenaline.

I can't say I'm disappointed because all those elements are there. The female crazy euro character is everything we have come to expect of the female euro assassin as developped during 40+ years of Cold War: rational, willul, determined, slim, naturally sexy, cultured, sophisticated, versed in the dark arts of assassination and wistully inclined to give her heart to the doughy American boy whose naïve whimsicality wins her heart almost from the get-go. The male character is everything we have come to expect from the post-generation-X adolescent whose cooky journal we are privy to: he's in a rock band with an ironic name, he is hopelessly a virgin due to his lack of self-possession in female presence, he has good marks in school and could be promised to a bright future if he could only avoid letting his girl problem pull him into the dregs of some urban gun fight.

So we follow our two heroes, she having 5 targets to kill before the night is through, he just hanging on and trying to do the right thing, they gradually giving in to the ever more pressing need to abandon themselves in a member of the opposite sex. The plot works, though the mechanisms used to keep it on track feel contrived. Mostly, though, it's not that funny.

Oh, I did chuckle a little! But the ingredients don't coalesce, and I think it's because they weren't pushed beyong their nominal definition, so the read mostly feels wooden.

The interesting aspect of the writing is that each chapter is formulated as an answer to a college application form question.

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