Sunday, 23 August 2009

Review - Beatle Meets Destiny / Gabrielle Williams

Summary: Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle. And then you meet your Dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney. But what if you're already with the perfect girl?

Review: To describe Beatle Meets Destiny in one word is surprisingly easy – charming. It is a perfect depiction of Australian teens in all their wackiness, romanticism and earnestness.

I have to wonder how though as the protagonist acts questionably, seeing two lovely girls at once. Yet Beatle is so winning, so honest and so deprecating that Williams has provided a very effective means to empathise with this kid that makes some doubtable decisions. Beatle is still trying to get a grip of his life after a stroke two years prior. His romantic counterpart - Destiny is a force of nature. It’s clear what Beatle sees in her; she’s confident, she’s a trifle bizarre and most importantly, she’s perfect in his eyes. Seemingly they are perfect for one another...except he has a girlfriend already.

Set in the suburbs of Melbourne, Williams has deftly constructed a heightened yet realistic teen-world. Between stalker advertisements, curiously named siblings, student/teacher affairs and a fascination with astrology – there is a real heart to Beatle Meets Destiny. There is considerable flash-bang in terms of kooky content but the characters are fully realised with sparky dialogue, moral conundrums and questions regarding the nature of fate that you cannot help but be sucked along for the ride.

Structurally the book reminds me of When Harry Met Sally, chapters are broken up with many twins’ stories. While this might sound unrelated, it is not. Beatle has a twin named Winsome and their birthdays are separated by months...yep months. It’s an interesting story that can be saved for your read of the book but the twin vignettes are a very nice touch to contrast Beatle and Destiny’s arc.

As readers of this blog know, I love contemporary Australian stories and I have a real yen for authentic male protagonists too. Beatle Meets Destiny checks all the boxes of what I am looking for in a great read – snappy dialogue, authentic characterisation and some whimsicality. This is definitely a book you need to get your hands on. !

Published: 3 August 2009
Format: Paperback, 294 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Origin: Australia
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Anonymous said...

This cover really reminds me of the cover of The Stranger by Albert Camus. :P

diz said...

I just loved this book (and I'm not a young adult reader, rather an oldish fart, 47). There were so many laugh out loud moments that I found it necessary not to read it in public!