Right. I know I said there would be no posts over the summer holidays, but I just can’t help myself! I’m so relaxed it’s not funny and I’ve been reading a stack of books, so I thought I’d start reviewing them before I forget them!! First up? The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams…
I initially picked up Gabrielle Williams’ novel for a few reasons. Firstly, it was shortlisted for the Gold Inky in 2012; secondly, because the cover/tagline was ambiguous/incongruous enough to hook me; and thirdly, because the novel’s protagonist is named Dorothy – which I think is a cool name.
Let me say right now that I’m not sure I’m happy I picked this book up. My hallelujah was reluctant, at best.
When Dodie (short for Dorothy)’s parents go missing just before her Year 12 exams, she is thrown headlong into a secret that her parents have kept for years – and finds herself driving unlicensed to Sydney with her sister, a guy from school she never speaks to, and a couple of random dudes she’s never met. Oh, and I should mention that there are bad guys on her tail who seem to be ready to kill her.
I wish I could tell you more about this novel, but it’s all based around a plot revelation early on that drives (pardon the pun) the action. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that it was probably THE most unexpected plot twists I have ever read. Totes bizarro, as they say.
I like the concept behind this book – it’s kooky and ridiculous and majorly out there. But I’m afraid Ms Williams just doesn’t make it work. The plot is resolved in a most unsatisfactory and disappointing manner, and she’s not quite able to suspend her readers’ disbelief enough to make this story work. It’s like putting cream cheese on a chocolate chip muffin, a little NQR. Unless, of course, you like cream cheese on a chocolate chip muffin. I hear it’s good on bagels. But I digress…
I’d say if you’re reading this, you’re probably intrigued, even though I’ve basically given the book the thumbs down. Another reviewer has described it as Weekend at Bernie’s meets The Da Vinci Code, meets teenage road trip – and I’d say this sums it up perfectly. The Reluctant Hallelujah is a quick and easy read, so even if it’s not your favourite book, it’s certainly an experience.