Beth's Reviews > Beatle Meets Destiny

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams
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Every positive thing you've heard about this book is true. It's funny, fast and extremely clever.

Beatle is among the most, if not THE most, loveable male character I've ever come across in a book. (Although admittedly he has to duke it out with Seb and Charlie from Finding Cassie Crazy and Jesse and Jonah from Break first.) All this while he's two-timing his girlfriend, wishing said girlfriend would dump him and generally behaving in a way that would have made me want to smack him over the head if Williams hadn't written him with such genuine love and delicate humour. Instead of making me want to scream at him "YOU COWARDLY WEASEL STOP WEASELLING OUT OF EVERYTHING!!!!", he made me want to say to him, "Beatle, honey, I know you're trying your best, but YOU REALLY ARE MAKING THINGS *SO MUCH* WORSE FOR YOURSELF." This isn't "He's Just Not That Into You", but I could really understand his feelings of frustration towards Cilla and his bottled-up feelings towards the situation even though they would seem unbelievably unsympathetic if I wrote them down here. Beatle's plight was so well written that, even though it technically WAS all his own fault, it all felt completely understandable and sympathetic for me. I had an intense amount of love and sympathy for Beatle by the end of the book.

Also, a preachy interlude: I loved how they handled Beatle's stroke. It could have been so much less sensitive but it was amazingly well-done. I felt that Williams really did it with this one. The reaction of Beatle's mum to it (thinking that it was something good for him) might seem unrealistic to guys who've never experienced something like that. I've had physical problems (thank God not a stroke) and both Beatle's mum's attitude and Beatle's attitude towards his situation were absolutely pitch perfect to me. Beatle's mum's attitude is also just like my own mum's, so I could really relate to that part of the book. It was so lovely to see it dealt with in a mature and serious way without angst.

Beatle and Destiny were a gorgeous couple. They had perfect chemistry. And Destiny was a brilliant, amazing female character. I LOVED how they made her rich but not in a spoiled-princess way - such a refreshing way to deal with affluent teens! Williams has a way of getting her characters into unbelievable predicaments that feel totally organic and believable. For instance: Destiny and her friend stealing the lawn chair from Destiny's neighbour. I loved, loved, loved this subplot. It had me writhing in a OH GOD DESTINY WHY ARE YOU BEING SO REAL AND STUPID? way. Destiny's friends were also awesome. Williams has the perfect teenage voice - if I just wrote down, "well, Destiny stole a lawn chair from her neighbour", you guys would just be like "waaaah? why should I want to read this?" But, no, somehow, Williams does it. She makes Destiny's accidental thievery (yes, really) of the lawn chair seem like the world-stopping thing it was for Destiny to the audience, too.

(Two tiny nitpicks that I'm putting in here because I didn't want to spoil the end of the review. I didn't like the spelling/grammar of "Omigod." For some reason, and no, I don't understand it either, I read it as "oh-me-god." And I hate that. I also had the misfortune of picking up an American copy from Amazon, so I had to deal with the fact that all the characters said "mum" but the narrative wrote "mom" when they weren't speaking. That bugged me. I would have prefered that they'd just left it at "mum", because the book is Australian, after all.)

...which brings me quite nicely to my next point. I loved the Australian-ness of the whole story. I hate reading about books set in Britain for some reason (I'm British, maybe that's it?) and I like books set in America, but I've decided that my new settingcrush is Australia. Between VARIOUS THINGS THAT COULD KILL ME, I could never go, but a lovely book like Beatle Meets Destiny is the perfect way to experience it. I loved how Williams embraced her setting. I really felt that I was reading an *Australian* book, and I really liked it.

Something that is so rare in YA books is for the writer to truly embrace the spirit of farce that manages to be extremely funny without being cartoonish and still keeping the readers' emotions. BEATLE MEETS DESTINY is a masterclass at that. I was actually howling with laughter during the consequences of (view spoiler). The climax is a masterwork of emotionally-involving, true cringing-but-laughing reading. (Trust me: I hate cringe comedy. Somehow, Williams created the best cringe comedy I've ever read.) From Beatle's fearful nightmares of what would happen if he owned up to two-timing Destiny and Cilla (especially the imagined reaction of Frank), to Beatle ranting furiously at the guy who crashed into them and (view spoiler), I was squawking and thinking, "oh dear God, what now?" throughout the entire book.

The humorous repetition of "deny deny deny" as arc words through the book struck me, too. As a concept, I looooove arc words for some reason, and "deny deny deny" fitted perfectly with this novel's themes and characters.

I've heard some criticism of the stalker subplot. In my opinion, this was perfect in the book. Only because there was a layer of darkness that racheted up the tension just a little bit, raising the stakes a little (probably helped that I was constantly fearful of something happening to Beatle) which was perfect to keep it from falling into the too-cutesy trap (which it never did). Also, I loved the added farce of the entire situation, I can't help it. Williams never gets too dark or too serious, but it raises the tensions just that little bit more.

But the secondary characters are fantastic, as well, and almost steal Destiny's thunder at times. (Sorry, I love Beatle too much.) Special mention goes to Frank, Destiny's brother, Beatle's teacher and (view spoiler) (yep, it's that kind of book) who owned my favourite scene in the entire novel. (view spoiler)

To top this all off, Williams manages poignancy, somewhere within all the humour and the pulling together of plot strands and general awesomeness that drenched BEATLE MEETS DESTINY. Winsome and Beatle's contribution to the twin tales was my favourite, especially the one where Winsome revealed her reaction to Beatle's stroke, but Beatle's relationship with his mum was also moving for me, as was the scene where Beatle blew up at the guy who crashed into him with added humour value. Reading about the night of Beatle's stroke really upset me too.

She brings everything together just beautifully, as well. It's quite magical to see all the plot twists unravelling and piling up on one another in a way that usually made me cringe, laugh or some combination of both. Many stuff genuinely surprised me, and I love feeling that in a book. From Lally and Beatle's mum to the lawn chair to the dog to the stalker to Beatle and Destiny and Winsome and Frank - it all comes together into one of my very favourites.

To summarise: GAHHH! AWWW!
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Reading Progress

November 19, 2010 – Shelved
June 23, 2011 – Started Reading
June 23, 2011 – Shelved as: june-2011
June 23, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: it-s-a-mad-mad-mad-world
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: fantastic-characters
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: a-specific-taste
January 7, 2012 – Shelved as: 2011-reads
May 23, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nomes <3

Beth ^ Pretty much how I felt about the book, actually. :)

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