'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 26 February 2015

Review: The Reluctant Hallelujah

Dodie has three days left of Year Twelve and her final exams before her world and everything she thought she believed about her life gets turned upside down in the most logic-defying way. Her parents are missing; their disappearance is connected to them safeguarding something for generations in a secret basement (she never knew existed) in their house.

Dodie, her carefree sister Coco, a guy from school she’s never spoken to, two strangers and a dead guy embark on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney with ‘bad guys’ hot on their trail. To make maters worse, Dodie, due to sit her driver’s licence test next week, is the designated driver. All she knows is she will do whatever she can to deliver the special cargo.

Dodie tries to make sense of what’s happening. Over the next few days, she has to navigate underground tunnels, being wanted by the police, illegal driving, car chases, keeping tabs on her sister, keeping the dead guy disguised, and sorting out her feelings for the hot, nice guy on their trip. Things hit some rough patches when Coco keeps posting their whereabouts on Facebook and they don’t know who can be trusted.

This is a book that implores the reader to suspend disbelief and (pardon the pun) go along for the ride. It’s funny and enjoyable, yet the author creates enough depth for each character to balance nicely with the craziness going on.

Gabrielle Williams writes in her usual sassy, comedic fast-paced style and skillfully weaves the plot together with enough twists and turns and great one-liners to keep the reader engaged. It’s kind of a YA meets a comedic The Da Vinci Code meets Weekend At Bernie’s – with a thought-provoking but not overbearing religious thread.

Title: The Reluctant Hallelujah
Author: Gabrielle Williams
Publisher: Penguin, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143566847
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction