Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser

Okay so let me start out by saying I am a giant loser for going so long between posting. Really — I’ll except virtual slaps on the wrist for being such a noob. Here are a few lame excuses: I got a bad haircut; school is impossible; I had work a ton of days until beginning of October; I do more ridiculous projects in 12th grade than I did in 5th grade; I had 0 time to read and therefore 0 time to review’ instead of reading in my spare time, I would sleep; college searching = stressful/hard/depressing/exhausting. So once again, I apologize. But good news!: I have 5 books from PAYA that I read and am going to line up reviews for so they’ll be publishing themselves on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with an obvious exception being today — Monday) for the next two-three weeks! YAY!

P.S. If I don’t post this week, blame Hurricane Sandy. She’s gave me off school today and tomorrow, but she’s a moron for causing damage. 😡 How dare you harm OCNJ!!!

If you like: overcoming obstacles, love, romance, drama, family drama, family situations, getting help, strong female characters, having good morals, and Russia/Russians, you will like this book.

Alyssa Bondar is a 15-year-old Russian-Jewish girl living with her mom and dad in New Jersey and trying to have the most normal life possible. The family immigrated from Russia when Alyssa was very young, but still kept parts of their culture with them when the came to America. In Russia, it’s not out of the ordinary to have a few drinks in the middle of the day, and many adults tend to drink too much on holidays. This usually isn’t a problem, but suddenly, Alyssa’s mom starts drinking in the middle of the day to cope with her stressful job, and rarely comes out of her room. Instead of being able to focus on her crush from the cross-country team, Keith, or deal with her friend Lana, who is abandoning her culture in order to be popular, Alyssa has to come home to take care of her mother and the house, while her father buries himself in the evening news. When Mrs. Bondar’s drinking is suddenly exposed, Alyssa has to figure out how to deal with her family problems, when all she wants is the normal life her friends have.

This book was really interesting, as it gave both an insight into Russian culture but also a look at a teenage girl dealing with a serious issue: alcoholism. Alyssa is a really well developed character, and is forced fully into maturity by a serious problem that threatens her entire family. I had some trouble, especially at the beginning, with following what was going on when Alyssa’s parents (especially her mom) were talking, because the author would use Russian words and not give the English translation (which for someone as OCD as me meant a hardcore Google Translate extravaganza). Other than that, the book was really well written: it was cute, serious, dramatic, and touching in all the right places. READ IT!

Pages: 302
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Romance
Sequel?: No, but Margie Gelbwasser wrote another book called Pieces of Us which looks like something I’ll probably be reading in the future!

It’s a bad picture, but what are you going to do?
It says: “May your world be filled with butterflies! -Margie”

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