Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Perry and Gobi series

Author: Joe Schreiber
Rating: 3.5 stars average
Review Contains Mild Spoilers

Many YA series throw action, adventure, romance and crime in a reader's face. Very few do it so well in a fast-paced manner. Schreiber's novels do not go over 230 pages and keep up with the pacing in a remarkable way. The plot and characters might not always be the most realistic. However, Perry and Gobi is not meant to be taken too seriously, at least not to me. My only complaint was how women were portrayed and how it affected the novel. A lot of the series is a wet dream for male readers. There's nothing wrong with that, unless it affects how women should be taken seriously (or a lack thereof). More on this later:

Perry is a seemingly average 17-year-old. His family takes in an exchange student, Gobi. She's seen as nedry, quiet and antisocial. Perry barely exchanges words with her. All Perry cares about is his band and applying to college. His relationship with his father is strained, seeing as his father already has Perry's future/college planned out regardless of Perry's actual wishes. Perry's father pretty much forces Perry to take Gobi to their prom. It's prom night where things go wrong. Not spilling-punch-on-that-expensive-dress and losing-my-virginity kind of wrong, but the-exchange-student-is-kidnapping-me-and-forcing-me-to-take-her-to-NYC wrong.
Suddenly, Gobi is wearing different clothes, has a gun and looks remarkably better looking. What gives? Well, she's a hitwoman on a mission to avenge her sister's death by taking out some of the wealthiest and powerful men, all residing in NYC for just one night. Her exchange student status was a cover-up to buy time and research her targets. Coincidence? You, reader, already know the answer. 
Naturally, feelings develop between Perry and Gobi. His family is put in danger. Bullets fly, people die and some pretty awesome fights go down. Perry's relationship with his father is put to the ultimate test--bringing up skeletons from the past.  The good news is his NYC adventure with Gobi lands Perry in the college he wants after submitting an essay narrating these "real" events. If I had known this, I would have gotten involved with a  hitman my senior year as well. Just kidding.
In book two, Perry is doing well in college, has a hot new girlfriend and a successful band. Are things too good to be true? During his band tour, Perry makes a personal stop while in Italy. The last time he saw Gobi was after she almost died. Their reunion is inevitable, which means trouble is as well. This time there's CIA agents, a brain tumor and more death involved.  This book had less twists for me and only because I personally figured out who the bad guy were way ahead of time. Another plus: readers see a more fleshed out version of Gobi as well as her past. She's not portrayed as an invincible killing machine. I felt like women were portrayed as only two versions in this series: vengeful killing machines who rarely let their guard down or beautiful and somewhat slutty liars. A happy medium was never fully reached save for a few Gobi moments in books one and two. Perry's mother and sister were written way better but they were props most of the time--always in danger or out of the way. I liked book two's ending a lot because it ended on more realistic terms than the first one. A well written and killer essay versus a family recovering from turmoil and barely making it. The ending was a nice change in the otherwise action packed series. I don't know if a book three will come out but my Perry/Gobi shipper will read it.

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