Aiming for 80 – Wavelength by A.J.Betts

wavelengthYou have to feel for Oliver: he is trying to study hard for his final high school exams, he knows what he wants to do after school and his precious sleep is being broken as his mum begins her morning muffin preparations. Combine that with 2 younger siblings, whose care he is semi-responsible for since his dad left, and friends who cruise effortlessly in their study, it seems, with their tutor’s help – it’s little wonder that he is anxious about achieving his goal mark. This is the focus of ‘Wavelength’ by A.J.Betts

Mum’s solution: send Oliver to his Dad’s for time out before his exams. The trouble is, along the way to his dad’s for his study break, he loses his bags; he arrives penniless, bookless, without his mobile phone and rather upset. It doesn’t help that he’s had little to do with his dad in recent years, and that for some reason, he can’t seem to get on the right wavelength with Emma, a girl where his dad works, who seems to hate him on sight.

After this auspicious arrival, all sorts of things seem to act against Oliver and his chances for successfully studying to achieve the magic 80 for entry to uni. What can he possibly do? Has he lost his last opportunity to succeed? Why is he even in this crazy situation? Doesn’t anyone understand?

‘Wavelength is authentic, entertaining, with astutely perceived details and some excruciatingly funny rude bits.’ Sun Herald, 13th March, 2011.

Readers should be able to identify with the intensity of Oliver’s frustrations, laugh at some of the situations that arise, reflect on all that happens in the story – to ponder what’s important in life. Betts has provided real characters in this story, and paints a vivid picture of how focussed students might get on a particular goal, and how life often throws something quite unexpected at them along the way.

Many adults write for Young Adults – has A.J.Betts written in an authentic voice for some of the youth of today? Do you identify with any of the characters? Is life like this? If so, has Betts made a point to you?

N.B. you can view this book trailer as a preview:

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