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The Reluctant Hallelujah - Gabrielle Williams If the plot’s journey doesn’t do it for you, then the characters most definitely will.****If you have read Beatle Meets Destiny you would know that Gab Williams knows how to find that perfect voice for her characters. In The Reluctant Hallelujah Dodie is given this distinct voice that changes over the course of the book, which becomes influenced by the decisions and actions she has to make and commit to while on this quest and road-trip. Of course you’re going to be frantic and stressed when you’re final Year 12 exams are just a couple of days away. In addition to this, you’re going to feel like you’ve been run over by a truck ten times over when you discover that your parents have been hiding a family secret right under your nose and you have to move this “secret” to Sydney days before your exams in which you’ve barely studied for, you have to care for your sister which you hardly like to spend time with, drive a car without a license with a couple of guys you know nothing about, and all you have on your mind is being convicted as a criminal and sent to jail when you’re just doing a job you’ve been urged and told to do – fated to do.What a life – rather mad few days – Dodie has to plow through. Oh and don’t forget when she becomes a hot, emotional wreck once she falls for one of those guys – just another load of weight packed onto the cross she already struggles to pull along. (Who likes my analogy? I sure do!) Obviously you can understand where I’m coming from when I say Dodie has this unique voice. Who wouldn’t be? And add in those witty comments of hers, we have here a young Australian – like any other – about to sit their final exams; emotionally unstable and just about to implode with stress about one’s own future, but witty enough to hide the weight of everything that’s on their shoulders and the sacrifice she has to make for her parents.Now you know I like to ramble on about books that I love (proof above), but you don’t know – or maybe you do – that I tend to get a despicable love for those authors who have an uncanny ability to transport you right into the thick of everything, into the shoes of the main characters. What also helped in The Reluctant Hallelujah’s case was that I could picture Gab’s scenery in Melbourne, Gippsland, and along the coast to Sydney, as I’ve seen it myself.If you’re worried that this book will demean religion and faith or be sacrilegious to the point that you think God will disown you or set you alight like a vampire or creature of the night if you even touch or purchase the book, then you are clearly wrong. Gab Williams deals with the idea of religion and faith in such a way that it is reverential, and this clearly shows through her writing, through her characters – although a bit jokey – and the themes and resemblances explored.Put simply: The Reluctant Hallelujah is an inventive yet insightful view of faith among today’s young people, and with it, a coming-of-age story that teaches us to make sacrifices in our lives for the greater good: for family, for yourself, for your love. This is a book you must read if you love your road-trip stories but bare in mind it ends in a tragedy like no other, a sacrifice like no other… The Reluctant Hallelujah is a love story like no other (just try to keep your ruby slippers with you at all times).