True Love, the Sphinx, and Other Unsolvable Riddles: A Comedy in Four Voices [NOOK Book]

Overview

American teenagers Sam and Salah lead fairly uncomplicated lives. They breeze through classes at their prestigious Manhattan high school, their friends all look up to them, and they've never had to put much effort into attracting girls. But when their class embarks on a field trip to Egypt, complications arise in the forms of Rosie and Octavia, two British beauties who won't be easily charmed. Amid luscious scenes of Egyptian culture and history, these four star-crossed lovers will endure mistakes, missteps, and ...
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True Love, the Sphinx, and Other Unsolvable Riddles: A Comedy in Four Voices

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Overview

American teenagers Sam and Salah lead fairly uncomplicated lives. They breeze through classes at their prestigious Manhattan high school, their friends all look up to them, and they've never had to put much effort into attracting girls. But when their class embarks on a field trip to Egypt, complications arise in the forms of Rosie and Octavia, two British beauties who won't be easily charmed. Amid luscious scenes of Egyptian culture and history, these four star-crossed lovers will endure mistakes, missteps, and plenty of misunderstandings before they can achieve their hearts' desires. Told from four alternating points of view, Tyne O'Connell's latest novel is both a fast-paced comedy of errors, and a heartfelt romance that proves sometimes the greatest complication of all is love.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Octavia and Rosie, best friends from an elite London school, meet up with their New York City counterparts, Sam and Salah, when their classes take a trip together down the Nile. Among the tombs and temples, romances blossom, but as if they were in "some sort of Shakespearean farce," confusion quickly follows. Rosie, a gifted composer, and Egyptian-born Salah, one of the most eligible teenagers in Manhattan," feel a definite connection, but beautiful boy-magnet Octavia swiftly claims him as her own. Readers will know that all will sort itself out by the end, or that the various misadventures will help the characters grow in important ways (outrageous Octavia will learn not to hide her family's poverty, for example, and Salah will decide to "take fate into [his] own hands"). The author mixes in some ancient Egyptian history with images of contemporary life on the Nile; she also adds wacky characters, including a pair of nerdy teachers who keep getting in trouble with the police, at one point being charged for drug smuggling. The four protagonists take turns narrating, although not all of them fully engage readers' interest. Attention-seeking Octavia, for example, who calls teachers "darling" and sneaks off the boat, comes across as more bratty than fun. Even so, there is enough romance-both personal and in the details about Egypt-to fuel this light diversion. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 7-11- Though they are best friends at their upscale private high school, shutter-bug Sam has always stood in the shadow of Salah, considered the most eligible teenager in Manhattan. Usually, Sam's more than happy to take Salah's cast-off "cuties" as sloppy seconds, but that changes when their class takes a field trip to Egypt, planned in conjunction with a swanky London girls' school, and Sam meets the outrageous British beauty, Octavia. What Octavia wants, Octavia gets, and she wants Salah. But all of her preening, posturing, and excessive behavior is really a distraction to hide a secret even her best friend, Rosie, doesn't know. Rosie enjoys Octavi's company, but is often exhausted by her theatrics. However, she never stood up to her best friend, until she realizes that she too wants Salah. As the teenagers explore the sites and history of Egypt and socialize aboard their river-cruise boat, the Nefertiti , everyone is expecting Salah to hook up with Octavia, but his heart lies elsewhere. This flirty, fun romcom, told from four distinctive points of view, reads like an old-time comedy of errors. O'Connell describes Egypt with such vitality and richness that it shines as a separate character. This novel is a trip worth taking.-Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Beginning as a lark, an Egyptian trip turns serious when love enters the equation. Salah and Sam attend Manhattan's Bowers School for Boys and Rosie and Octavia are enrolled at London's Queens Ladies College. Their joint vacation down the Nile has the students excited because guys know school trips are meant to be "about hot girls in foreign countries" and girls plan to scope out guys "to pull." The problem is the guys are interested in the wrong girls. Octavia wants Salah, but Salah is smitten with Rosie, and Sam is infatuated with Octavia. Patterned after a stage-play farce, frustration mounts as the he-said, she-said rumors are manipulated and friendships deteriorate. Told from four different points of view, the story moves along quickly, and several Egyptian landmarks lend a romantic backdrop. The content is a bit more mature than an average middle-school romance novel. One character gets drunk and couples wind up in bed together, but sex occurs only off the page. Released too late for a beach read, but still fine escapism. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619630710
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,158,799
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Tyne O' Connell is a screenwriter and novelist with a teenage daughter in boarding school.  She lived in in LA for a number of years, but is now based in London.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    Four teens from two very different parts of the world find themselves immersed in one class trip to the land of the sphinx and pyramids, Egypt. First there are Rosie and Octavia, two of the prettiest girls in their class, who attend a British private school. Then there are best friends Sam and Salah, two guys who attend a high school in Manhattan. <BR/><BR/>Sam is totally into girls, just like every other guy in his school. Except girls is not what he is totally crazy about. Sure, he may act like they are the most important thing in the world (well, only when his other friends are around). He doesn't mind doing favors for girls, just as long as they would go out with him. And he doesn't really care that most of the cute girls that are around go for his friend, Salah, first and then him, second. What he really cares about most is photography, his passion. Carrying around his camera everywhere, Sam just cannot miss a single shot. <BR/><BR/>Salah is like his friend, Sam. He puts up a front whenever his friends are around, only talking about girls. But deep down inside he doesn't really care about that for now. Along with how he doesn't care about how rich he is or how famous his dad is. Salah just likes being a normal kid, who wears suits with T-shirts underneath them and sneakers to prove his point. Salah is originally from Egypt, so he is actually pretty excited for the trip. He just hopes that his other buddies will appreciate Egypt and look at the tourist attractions instead of just looking at the girls there. <BR/><BR/>Octavia is best known for her family name, Geudenault, and for her ancestors who over hundreds of years ago helped a certain king. But behind the name, Octavia's family is actually poor, even though they live in the oldest and most expensive house ever, and her friends don't know about her poverty. Octavia tries her best to hide this little secret, especially by getting into quarrels with almost all of her teachers. And she gets out of having to go on school trips, since she cannot really afford it, by having her very own Outer London Zone Phobia, to where she acts like she can't stand leaving her home. <BR/><BR/>Rosie is the shy yet brilliant composer who loves to hate her beautiful and very crazy friend. Rosie usually lurks in Octavia's shadow, since all of the boys fall for Octavia instead of her. And so she uses her composing as a front, always listening and analyzing certain pieces from Bach and then trying to write her own music. Unlike Octavia, Rosie's family is pretty well off, but she never flaunts it. She doesn't even know about her friend's financial status, and doesn't see the reason to ask. <BR/><BR/>All four teens will cross paths that lead to miscommunication, secrets, and a whole lot of love. This will be one class trip that they will never forget. <BR/><BR/>A romantic comedy, told in four points of views, TRUE LOVE, THE SPHINX, AND OTHER UNSOLVABLE RIDDLES is one read you do not want to miss. All four characters go through life-changing experiences that will make them stronger and make us, the reader, laugh. Who knew that teenage love could be so complicating and very amusing?

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