Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwessar

Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwessar
 Publisher: Flux
Publish Date: November 1, 2010
Paperback, 360 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 978-0738721484

My Review:
Inconvenient was a different book, but a very realistic book.  It involves a teenage girl undergoing several problems at one time.  First she's a Russian immigrant and she has some difficulty with teasing and fitting in due to her heritage.  Then there is some tension at home and her mother seems to drink too much at times, while her dad seems to withdraw.  On top of that she gets her first boyfriend who confuses her all the time and her best friend is trying to fit in and be popular and seems to be leaving Alyssa behind.  I honestly felt for Alyssa through this book, yet it didn't feel unrealistic.  Any one of these problems would be hard enough to go through, but all of them together make it really difficult for Alyssa.  And while at times she feels like giving in, I really love her strength.

In Alyssa, Ms. Gelbwessar, has made an amazing character for all girls to aspire to, she's not perfect, and she's struggling to find herself, but she doesn't give up even when things are at a point most people would.  I also love the side characters, especially Keith, who at times frustrates me, but then he seems like a good guy.  I didn't really like Lana, but I understood her.  What girl who is in high school or has been to high school hasn't aspired to be liked by the popular kids and to fit in with them.  Lana will do what it takes to fit in even if it means leaving Alyssa and her heritage behind.

There is a message in the book and I don't want to give too much away, but it's a great message to take away.  I enjoyed the book, it had great learning experiences, romance, and a high entertainment factor for me.  I wanted to know how Alyssa would react next and what life would throw at her.  Ms. Gelwessar crafts a great young adult novel in Inconvenient and I will be searching out more of her work in the near future.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
Alyssa Bondar’s world is falling apart. She has just entered her sophomore year at Glenfair High, the only place to hang out is behind the CVS, Keith her cross-country crush keeps sending her mixed signals, and her best friend Lana has started the school year with large breasts and a sexy attitude–-attracting the attention of the most popular kids in the school, a group Alyssa clearly doesn’t fit into.

Alyssa’s Jewish, like most of Glenfair, but since she’s also Russian, Alyssa feels even more separated from other teens. How many other Jewish families have a New Year’s tree with ornaments? On top of all this, Alyssa’s once stable home environment has become chaotic.

Alyssa is used to alcohol accompanying every meal and event in the Russian culture. But when Alyssa’s mother loses her job, the usual drink or two changes into a full-time happy hour. While Alyssa’s father uses news reports of war unrest in the Middle East as his escape from reality, Alyssa is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered family alone. As her mother’s alcoholism gets worse, Alyssa must decide how much she can and should handle before she crumbles as well.

About the Author: 
Margie Gelbwasser is the author of INCONVENIENT, published by Flux in November 2010. INCONVENIENT, named a 2011 Notable Book for Teens by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, tells the story of Alyssa Bondar. Alyssa must cope with an alcoholic mother, tuned-out dad, first boyfriend, and end of a long friendship. Margie's next novel, PIECES OF US, is told in 4 POV (one of them second) and deals with cyber-bullying, abuse, and how one teens actions affect the other 3. It will be published by Flux March 8, 2012. 


FTC Information: I purchased this book for the Teen Book Scene Tour for an honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


LoriStrongin said...

DEFINITELY going in my TBR pile! I'm a Russian Jew myself (2nd generation), and I grew up on stories (sometimes in Yiddish) of my parents being 1st generation American-born Russian Jews. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for Inconvenient. Thanks for the rec!


Katrina L. Lantz said...

Just from the description alone, I can tell it's a make-you-cry kind of book. Thanks for the review!

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