In Schreiber’s debut novel for teens, an awkward high-school exchange student morphs into a beautiful assassin, changing a boring prom night into a dangerous race against time.
Perry, a senior in high school, is focused on three things: his internship at his father’s law office, playing guitar and, most of all, getting accepted into Columbia University. His mother, in an attempt to infuse some culture into their family, decides they should host a foreign exchange student. The socially awkward and unattractive Gobi is at best invisible and at worst a target for ridicule. Her one request before returning home is to attend the prom with Perry as her date. Under duress, Perry agrees to take her. However, Gobi has other plans, insisting he drive her to Manhattan instead. There she leads Perry on a killing spree that culminates in a confrontation with a very deadly and very familiar adversary. Stilted dialogue, unlikable characters and scenes that seem patched together from dozens of familiar action movies are only a sampling of this novel’s many problems. Readers will quickly become frustrated with the predictable plot, overly familiar setting and Perry’s obtuseness, though the framing device of college-application essay questions is mildly amusing.Filled with gratuitous violence, unnecessary vulgarity and unending cliché, this story often slides from merely bad into truly offensive. (Thriller. 14 & up)