It’s Not You, It’s Me by Gabrielle Williams
Who would have thought a 1970s Brother typewriter would be the inspiration for this fabulous time-slip young adult story?
Forty-year-old Holly is returning from her birthday lunch in Melbourne 2020 when she inexplicably finds herself lying dazed on an LA footpath in 1980 in the body of a teenager named Trinity. Mystified and shaken, Holly is led to Trinity’s home by a kind neighbour, Lewis, who is concerned by ‘Trinity’s’ weird behaviour. Holly/Trinity is already freaked out by her unfamiliar blue nails and wild clothes. When confronted by her image in the mirror, she realises she is definitely not in her body. In Trinity’s bedroom the shocks keep coming: there on the desk is an orange Brother typewriter, exactly like the one Holly’s friends just gave her for her birthday back in Melbourne.
And so begins this original, funny and thrilling novel of swapped identities that has Holly trying to behave like a normal eighties American teenager, all while attempting to find a way back to her own world. Meanwhile in Melbourne, Trinity is enraged and wreaking havoc with Holly’s life. When the two characters find they are able to communicate through the typewriter, Holly begins to see some curious parallels in their lives and slowly begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding their connection. While all this makes for an exciting romp, there are details of Holly’s earlier life that provide insight into her dawning respect and yearning for Trinity’s life, which makes the climax all the more moving.
Fun, freaky and poignant, the what ifs and wherefores of two lives that collide is inventively imagined and skilfully executed. Gabrielle Williams makes the inexplicable seem perfectly logical, and It’s Not You, It’s Me is a compulsive read for ages 13+.