Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser (Inconvenient Blog Tour)

This review is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser. Tomorrow Margie will be here for a guest post! You can find out more about the tour here. Make sure to visit all the other stops if you'd like to know more about Inconvenient!

Title: Inconvenient
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 360
Release date: Novmeber 1st 2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
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 her down, too?
First sentence:
The cement beside the town pool is hot, the kind of hot where you can see steam rising off of it.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. If I'm being honest, I only decided to read it so I could be a part of the blog tour (since I'm international, I can rarely take part in blog tours). It didn't sound bad, but not extraordinary either - a little too out there for me, with the Russian-Jewish culture and all, since I usually need to be able to relate to the main character to enjoy the novel. None of that was a problem, though - this book is great!

What I enjoyed most about this one is the writing. It's so graceful, beautiful and vivid - the best writing in a debut novel I've read in a long time! I felt like I was there right alongside Alyssa. At first the metaphors (especially the butterfly ones) seemed kind of forced, but I got used to the style quickly. I love how Margie Gelbwasser ended each chapter with a beautiful, thought-provoking sentence I had to let sit a while before I could start the next one.

The characters are great and complex. Despite our different situations, Alyssa is easy to relate to - she's just a normal teenaged girl trying to cope with what's going on around her. Her insecurities are ones most teenagers have felt (well, at least I have, and I'm going to assume others have, too). Lana is a great character as well - even though I didn't particularly like her and wanted to shake her most of the time, her motives are understandable and she's a very realistic character. Just like Alyssa, I'm split on what to make of her mom. At times I hated her for making those decisions and putting her daughter in such a difficult situation, but I could also understand how she felt pressured and didn't know what else to do. Towards the end, though, I grew more and more frustrated with her.

The novel does have some flaws, though. For me, the romance aspect is only okay, at least in the first half. While I could understand Alyssa's feelings perfectly, I just did not like Keith. I got annoyed by how he treated her. I warmed up towards Keith by the end, once the reader found out about his problems, but it still wasn't enought to make me feel that storyline.

I'm not sure what to make of the whole Jake-Ryan-Trish storyline. Obviously, everyone's experiences are different, but from what I know, it's not realistic how easy it is for Lana to befriend the "cool kids", and how even before they start hanging out she comes up to them and just starts a conversation with them. In my experience, that's not how popularity works.

***The next paragraph contains vague information about the ending that could be considered spoilers!***
I love the ending of Inconvenient. It's always hard to find a good ending for a book like this - if the author wrote a happy ending, it wouldn't seem realistic, but if the ending were sad and there was no real development, the novel wouldn't really have a point. Margie Gelbwasser chose the perfect balance of sad and happy: hopeful. Hopeful endings are always my favorite ones, and this one is perfect; it's realistic but still showcases the development and character growth of the main character.

Inconvenient is a great read with beautiful writing, fully-developed characters and a hopeful message. Despite my problems with two of the storylines, I definitely recommend Inconvenient!


  1. I enjoyed your honest review of this book. Alyssa sounds like she has a rough road to travel with her Mom's drinking. Sounds like she is going through some other issues too.


  2. This is the book i would like to win for the giveaway(:

  3. I love the cover of this book! and I'm thrilled you gave a very honest review! It was wonderful you put in negative and positive! Everyone gets something different out of what they read and I think this was a great review to show that! :)

  4. I'd like to read this book as you wrote it has a
    balanced ending that is hopeful.


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