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
True Love, the Sphinx, and Other Unsolvable Riddles: A Comedy in Four Voicesby Tyne O'Connell
American teenagers Sam and Salah lead fairly uncomplicated lives. They breeze through classes at their prestigious Manhattan high school, their friends and classmates 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
American teenagers Sam and Salah lead fairly uncomplicated lives. They breeze through classes at their prestigious Manhattan high school, their friends and classmates 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 have to endure mistakes, missteps, and plenty of misunderstandings before they can achieve their hearts' desires.
Told in 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 that sometimes, the greatest complication of all is love.
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, COCopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
TYNE O'CONNELL is the author of The Calypso Chronicles. She and her teenage daughter live in London.
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