Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

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? 

A novel about change, chance and everybody doing the wrong thing. (blurb)

Beatle Meets Destiny has all the makings of an Aussie YA cult classic

Set in Melbourne, it's completely charming with it's off-beat feel,  whimsical yet sexy romance and huge belly-aching moments. This book is ridiculously good, refreshing, original and completely addictive.

What's it about? In Gabrielle's words taken from We Love YA
I threw my two main characters together with a kiss at the end of the first chapter, and then added an extra girlfriend, a stalker, a stolen tapestry, a teacher/student romance, some superstitions, astrology, feng shui and a kooky mother and it all kind of kicked along from there. 

And what a sweet, sexy, inspirational kiss it is :)

My attempt @ a mini synopsis/teaser thingy: Beatle meets Destiny and and she's charming and he's hot and they kiss and have it going on... only Beatle already has a girlfriend of three years, who's sweet and stuck by him though some intense stuff. Meanwhile, Destiny gets herself all tangled up with a stalker and some arty drama with her next-door neighbour and Beatle finds his sister making out with his English teacher (who just happens to be Destiny's older brother). There's lots about twins (so funny! Beatle's a twin, but two months older than his sister) and some laughs about astrology and fate and a large cast of friends and family who each have their own pocket of individuality to add.

There's tension about what will happen with the mess Beatle makes for himself, but even as it builds, it's so quirky and whimsical and teenager-y that you're just enjoying the ride and the tension is a niggling feeling lurking behind the mayhem of it all.

The characters are theatrical and kooky and I love them for leaping off the page and into my heart. I want to hang out with them :)

It has a Moriarty-esque feel about it. The seemingly random threads all tying together in a belly-aching, extraordinarily twisted and awesome way. The climax is one of the best I've ever read. So funny it was almost painful, so cringe-y (for poor poor Beatle) that I almost couldn't bear to read it. So brilliant that it left me stunned - how did she co-ordinate it so well?

Also, the dialogue: snappingly awesome and witty and whimsical and just. so. true.

Did I mention that I grinned and laughed a lot? And that I read it in one afternoon and re-read most of it the following day?

If I could, I'd put a copy of this book in everyone's hands and the world would be a brighter place :)

5 stars of whimsical brilliance and a place of honour with my favourite books of all time

“I think there are a lot of books out there for young adults which have a grim storyline – bad things happen to kids in books,” said Gabrielle Williams. “But I wanted to write a book about kids that are pretty happy – they’re not self-mutilating, they’re not Emos, they’re not totally depressed, and they don’t hate the world.”

"I really think teenagers are gorgeous and I know they can give you grief. But generally they are lovely and they are experiencing the world – and it’s so exciting and interesting.”

Stuff you should know

  • Beatle Meets Destiny is being made into a major feature film (and while the book is set in Melbourne, they're thinking of doing the shoot in Ireland)!
  • It's also a 2010 notable for CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia).
  • And, on the short-list for the Prime Ministers Award (which comes with a $100 000 tax free prize). It's up against Stolen, but I'm totally rooting for Beatle Meets Destiny to win (and Stolen can win CBCA :) Stolen was powerful and lingering, but Beatle is quirky and cool and totally my thing. 
  • Also, selected for the Books Alive Campaign - one of the 50 books you can't put down.
  • The best thing about being nom'ed for the biggest Australian awards is every respectable public library in Australia should carry the book (as part of national book week, Aug).
Read the first chapter here. The first half of the chapter you can see the narration style sometimes used throughout and the second half is Beatle meeting Destiny and it's just so grin-worthy you'll crush on them straight away.

*the story is told from Beatle's POV, Destiny's POV, has small anecdotes throughout and sometimes adopts a slight omnipresent-style narration. 

EDIT: Due for US release on the first of October 2010.


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this Nomes, it's one of my favourites! Fab review! :)

  2. Great review, Nomes, I'm glad you <3ed it so much! And I love how you've included all these extra things in your review, like quotes from author interviews and so on. It really brings a sense of diversity to the review. Makes me want to read it again! ;)

  3. Sounds awesome, is it available in the US?

  4. I like the cover, sort of wacky but cool :P.

    I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger award, you can collect it at my blog: http://planet-print.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-first-award.html

    Hope you're having a great day!

  5. @ Girl Friday. It's one of my faves too now. I'll have to hunt down a personal copy to keep forever :)

    @ Tina - you'll have to read it again. so many great quotes and moments in there :)

    @ Erinn - I tried to see if it was coming out in the US and I think it may be - there's a new hardcover edition not yet available. fingers crossed it gets international release.

    @ Liz R - thanks for the award. i'll come and check it out :) i know what you mean about the cover. i really love it. very dynamic and perfect for the story. and, it's 11pm here, LOL. had a great day though :)

  6. this sounds so good!! i hadn't heard of it before, thanks for the great review!

  7. This sounds like just the kind of book I'd love, especially when the way you described the ending. You know I'm all about endings. :)

    Definitely being put on my TBR list. Maybe I'll even bump it up before some of the others.

  8. It sounds fabulous and you're review was so good that vie pre-ordered it. It was the next day re-read and the comparison to JM that did it :-)


    @rein it's out Oct 1st in the US

  9. Wow! This one sounds like a winner. I am for sure going to have to track it down now ;)

  10. After that review, I really want to read this book. Thank you Nomes. x

  11. Wow very high praise, I am going to get this one for sure. I love funny and poignant, and twists and turns and your review totally has me convinced that this is no a book to miss.

    PS. loving the new look!

  12. So glad you loved it, it's such a wonderful book! Really enjoyed your review, too.

    Love the new layout as well! Looks great.

  13. yay for all you guys loving the sound of this book. It really is awesome and I cant stop thinking about it. it was very very cool :)

    cant wait for it's international release!

  14. Nomes, I agree with you about this beautiful book - I've only just caught up with it, and enjoyed it so much!


Thanks for the commenty love :)