In fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, having a few drinks is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshki. So when her mom’s midday cocktails turn into an all-day happy hour, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices--or cares. Her dad is steeped in the nightly news--and denial--and her best friend Lana is too busy trashing their shared Russian heritage so she can be popular.
Alyssa would rather focus on cross-country meets and her first kiss with her running partner, Keith, but someone has to clean up her mom’s mess. But who will be there to catch Alyssa when her mom’s next fall off the wagon threatens to drag Alyssa down, too?
Inconvenient is one of those books that deals with difficult subjects that often don’t get talked about enough. It was a truly great book and once I really got into it, I was hooked and didn’t put it down until I was finished reading it.
In Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, drinking with most meals is considered perfectly normal. But she notices that her mother has been drinking more and more and doing so more often. But Alyssa seems to be the only one noticing this or even caring about her mother’s worsening condition. Except that Alyssa doesn’t want to deal with her mother and no one seems to be willing to help her out. All she really wants to do is focus on her cross-country running and her potential relationship with her teammate Keith. But with everything happening with her mother, Alyssa may have more on her plate than she ever bargained for. And maybe with everything else going on in her life, will Alyssa get dragged down by it all.
The story in Inconvenient isn’t a fluffy, make you feel better type of story. It deals with subject matter that isn’t always dealt with but should be talked about more. In this particular case, Margie Gelbwasser deals with the subject of alcoholism beautifully, writing a touching story that stays with you even once you’re finished reading it. What I especially liked about the story was that it was set in a different culture, one that was different from my own but at the same time shares similarities with it. It was a different approach to the subject of alcoholism that kept me interested and taught me more. It was a truly great story, one that’s going to stay with me for a while.
Right from the start, I felt for Alyssa. It just felt like nothing was really working for her and that she didn’t really have anyone who really understood her or what she was going through. Despite not ever having really gone through what she has, I still felt like I could relate to her. Plus, I liked that she was a cross-country runner like I was all through middle and high school. At first, other than Alyssa, I didn’t really like any of the other characters. Lana just seemed to be a little too self-centered to be a truly good best friend for Alyssa. Keith I didn’t really think much of at first but as the story moved forward, I saw that he really cared and was really good for Alyssa. And the same for for Alyssa’s dad. By the end of the book, I really like them both.
Inconvenient was a really great book, one that deserves all the attention it gets and even more. I really look forward to reading whatever comes next from Margie Gelbwasser.