Saturday, January 22, 2011
Review: Beatle Meets Destiny
Author: Gabrielle Williams
US Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (October 2010)
Summary: Imagine your name is John Lennon, but everyone calls you Beatle. And then you meet your dream girl, and her name is Destiny McCartney . But you meet her on the world's most unlucky day-Friday the 13th-and you're very superstitious. Not to mention that you're already dating the perfect girl, who happens to be your twin sister's best friend. . . . Beatle can't imagine ever leaving Cilla, who supported him after the stroke that changed his life and left him with a limp. Still, he knows that the only thing worse than staying with the wrong person is missing the chance to be with the right one.
First Impressions: Gabrielle Williams' teen voice was spot on! Even though this book was full of teenagers doing really stupid things, they were all so very believably stupid that I forgave them on the spot. Beatle and Destiny, as well as their friends and family, were all so well done. I want to be friends with them all, or would have in high school.
Plot: Beatle is a very superstitious teenager. With a limp from a stroke, a twin sister born 45 days after him and a mother who lives her life according to horoscopes, it's an understandable quirk. On Friday the 13th he's just trying to get home without becoming a statistic when fate, or Destiny as the case may be, steps into his life. Beatle has to decide if fate is worth hurting his girlfriend, Cilla. And fate doesn't give up easily.
The plot is not very involved, but the coincidences and circumstances that tangle Beatle and Destiny together are tightly done and funny as all get out.
Characters: Definitely the highlight of this book. They are all so fleshed out and sympathetic. I mean, technically Beatle is cheating on his girlfriend in this book. That is not behavior I approve of. He is a total ass! And he knows he is, and feels guilty. And his sister, and Destiny, both TELL him he is. It's not treated like some detail that can be brushed aside because he and Destiny and like, totally meant to be. (Even though they are.) Destiny's family and friends, Beatle's flighty mother and aunt... GREAT characterization work by Gabrielle Williams.
Style: Full of Australian-isms! There has been a totally awesome influx of Australian authors into the YA world lately, it seems, and I welcome them with open arms and a slightly puzzled air as I try to sort out the slang. Hey, it's a learning experience!
The book occasionally slows down, but on the whole it is fast-paced and awesome. Fun times.
Wrap up: This book was very fun, and had me laughing even as I shook my head. Recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and coincidences!