Review Blog

Nov 02 2009

Beatle meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

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Penguin, 2009. ISBN 9780143011491.
(Ages 13+) Recommended. Beatle, so named because his name is John Lennon, meets Destiny at a tram stop in Melbourne one Friday night. She is attracted to him because of his name, he to her because she is wearing sunglasses at 9 pm. So begins an off relationship, as they skirt around each other, sensing each other's interest. But Beatle already has a girlfriend, one who he cherishes, although their relationship is not what it was. A smart funny dialogue between the 2 is kept up throughout the book, as Williams gives vent to some of her dislikes of the deterioration of the spoken word.
Destiny's family is obsessed with tarot cards and horoscopes, the paranormal and coincidence, so her day always begins with readings to start the journey. Her brother, Frank a teacher at the local school, is seen by Beatle with his own sister, Winsome, and struggles with the information as Frank teaches them both in their year 12 English studies class. Someone is ringing Destiny and one night she has her underwear stolen, and much of the evidence falls on Beatle. Meanwhile their relationship is in a vacuum, as Destiny finds out about the girlfriend, and thinks Beatle is two timing them both. Destiny has answered an ad in the hope of making money, and her sister, Matilde has taken a chair found on the side of the road for hard rubbish collection.
A load of believable characters, mixed up with each other and their friends, wonderful scenes where things happen which are not outlandish or contrived, wrapped up with some smart dialogue and very funny word play, make this a great read for middle secondary students. Word jokes, plays on anything to do with the Beatles, mockery and repartee all add to the fun in this story. It is refreshing to read a book where the usual cliches of boy meets girl do not happen, where all the scenes are fresh and new, and where things are discussed which are relevant and involving.
Fran Knight

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