Friday, January 25, 2013

Mini Reviews # 4

Time for another Mini Reviews post. These books all have something in common: strong women. In AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK, exchange student and undercover killer, Gobi kicks one or another gangster's ass. The SHUT OUT girls around Lissa decide to go on a hookup strike until their boys consent to end an old rivalry between the school's soccer and football teams. And in Jennifer Echols LOVE STORY, protagonist Erin decides to move out of her grandmother's mansion and master life on her own, without money or status.

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK displays a pretty crazy night in the life of Perry who just wanted to spend prom night on his own terms. But that's not the night Gobi, the exchange student who is living with his family, has planned. Soon Perry finds out that Gobi isn't who she pretented to be and things get out of control. This night is packed with explosions, wild chasings and personal damage. So much action! 
New York is the setting for the killing mission Gobi is on. Bright, colourful and busy New York. It’s the most hectic - and also very fitting - city Joe Schreiber could have chosen for all the shootings and complots.
But it's not only about the action. Each chapter starts with a sentence like this:

What invention would the world be better off without, and why? (Kalamazoo College) ~ p. 95

Perry is in the process of deciding which college he wants to go to. The struggles to find the right college are a major issue in AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK, so it makes pretty much sense to include this college essay reference.The college questions are answered by a snippet out of Perry and Gobi’s night together. I was always curious what the next chapter would bring. And it could only get more lunatic each time, I had no doubt about that.
It was a fun part to imagine a modest exchange student from Lithuania transforming into that super sexy and lethal femme fatal.  Her sly and very skilled undercover agent persona impressed me. But I found her a bit too maniacal and aggressive in following her goals to develop a stable connection to her character. 
Perry is the unfortunate victim of Gobi's hatred. He has to accompany her on her killing frenzy and be witness to every surreal moment of that night. It's probably the shock of his life, but also a chance for him to stand up for his wishes and become a more confident person.
There was a kind of sexual tension between Perry and Gobi throughout the entire night spent together, in which they get to know the other person’s true self. I would have liked a romance between these two, but there isn’t exactly that much room with all the other things going on.
Events and characters don’t always appear very realistic, but if you are looking for some crazy action, this is your read!

3/5 *** AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK- Insane crashes, terrific shootings and oddities of characters are the specialty of Joe Schreiber.

Joe Schreiber’s writing is easy to consume and entertaining as well. AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK is a story of exceptional events. It misses the desired depth and European romance chic though.

Publisher:Houghton Mifflin
Publishing Date: October 25th 2011
Length: 190 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, action, crazy night, college applications, exchange student
Source:Book Fair

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Lissa is furious and feels neglected by her boyfriend. An old school rivalry between soccer and football team seems to eat up more and more time that could've been spend on their relationship. And for what? Stupid pranks and silly laughs. Now she decides to convince her friends to put their boys on a hookup withdrawal. 
It wasn't hard to dislike Lissa's boyfriend anyways. Sex is a present topic in SHUT OUT, too, and Randy wasn't as patient and understanding of her needs as I hoped. Cash though, the leader of the boy's team, was to my like and ensures various sexy and playful romantic scenes. 
Sports make up a dominant part of SHUT OUT. Sport is war. The competition that ideally only exists on the playing field, has transferred to school routine. And Kody definitely did a good job making it an ever present element in the story.
The whole concept of SHUT OUT is partly based on an ancient Greek myth of great war and great ingenuity. So witty of Kody to include it in her new novel. I hadn't known about it before and was delighted to add it to my stock of knowledge. 
SHOUT OUT is yet another story by Kody about girl power. And I am very into that female unity and feeling of integrity she communicates.
In the end Lissa and her friends are rewarded for their persistence in the war of sexes. SHUT OUT is about learning how to listen to your inner voice and stand up for your own believes. 
Set in high school, Kody Keplinger addresses all the turbulent events and dazzling emotions every teenager could encounter at some point during this important time. I have a feeling that she knows exactly what young readers want to read about. Her writing is funny and quirky, which makes it an easy task to read through her books in only a few hours.

4/5 **** SHUT OUT - A kickass read with girl power, sizzling chemistry and a battle of the sexes!

Kody Keplinger belongs to my favourite YA contemporary authors. She has the talent to write books that all carry a certain feel-good vibe. Just like her previous novel, THE DUFF, SHUT OUT is a lot of fun yet deals with contentious issues.

Publisher: Poppy
Publishing Date: September 5th 2011
Length: 273 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary romance, sport, sex, love
Source: Bought

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

I've read ENDLESS SUMMER by Jennifer Echols and couldn't stop reading, because it was that good! I'm on my way to enlarge my fundus of read Jennifer Echols books and I didn't want to miss out on LOVE STORY. In the end, I had to admit that it wasn't what I'd expected it to be. I ended up with a rather dull reading experience, no super sweet romance ecstasy known as a coercive side effect of a Jennifer Echols novel.
Protagonist Erin grew up on a horse farm living with her rich grandmother. Now she no longer wants to be everybody's darling or controlled by her grandmother, and therefore moves to New York City to face real life on her own. She learns that she has to work hard in order to secure her subsistence. Sometimes Erin has an annoying way to complain about her great loss of her old priviledged life. But I like that she's tough and, besides all the lamenting, still fights for her dreams to come true. She learns how to be independent and make new friends.
I was really into her dream to live in New York and study to become future writer. What reader doesn't love that idea?! The story's set on campus and we follow Erin on her daily routine between college and her job.Writing class was a place that felt good, although there was always a certain tension between the participants that felt a bit enervating.
Of course there's a boy. Wesley, a boy Erin knows all too well. A boy from her past at the horse farm, her stable boy. And Wesley appears definitely with his own motives in mind. Wesley was an ok love interest, but not someone who threw me off my feet with his overwhelmingly charming personality and handsomeness.
Now with the prospect of creative story writing, and Erin & Wesley's stories relating in some way to each other and to their past, I expected super hot stories and  flirtarious writing sessions. In the end the stories they wrote for class, actually bored me. No need to include them in LOVE STORY. There were hints at erotic aspects in their stories, but they appeared more shallow than anything hot and serious. I just didn't feel the chemistry.

2,5/5 **/* LOVE STORY -  A promised writing fantasy with sizzling tension between Erin and Wesley... which totally left me cold.

If you want to discover the Jennifer Echols bookish universe, I would recommend to start with another book of hers. If you've read every of Jennifer's books and can't stop to extend your collection, you should probably get it. But if you are looking for an exceptional contemporary romance, look elsewhere.

Publisher: MTV Books
Publishing Date: July 19th 2011
Length: 243 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary romance, college, writing class, slightly erotic, horses
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab


  1. Oh I loved Love Story - I think I rated it 4 stars but I haven't read Endless Summer yet, something I want to get ASAP! And Shut Out, I listened to the audio. Glad you liked that one and great review. xxx

  2. I haven't read a Jennifer Echols book yet, but I don't think I'll start with Love Story now. Shut Out sounds like a brilliant read - it seems to have been a hit with most people, and I do really like the sound of it. Great reviews!