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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Welcome to Glenfair, New Jersey’s Little Moscow, where fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar lives with her Russian-born, Jewish parents. In their culture, drinking is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshkis. So when her mom starts having bad days, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices-or cares.

Alyssa would love to focus on regular stuff like her first kiss with Keith...more
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published November 8th 2010 by Flux
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Two stars only for an unquestionably good young adult book about growing up, cultural identity and alcoholism in a community that includes excessive alcohol consumption as a part of everyday life. Two stars only for a realistically harsh and raw story told believably from a likable girl's insecure and helpless point of view that makes the reader root for her and ache with her. Two stars only for the sad story of an unraveling childhood friendship, that breaks apart because of one half's single-m...more
Most families go by the unwritten rule of What happens at home stays at home, especially when the reality of home includes one alcoholic parent and one parent in denial of it. Tack on a family trait that already makes a girl feel like an outsider among her peers, and keeping secrets from the world can become a way of life.

Alyssa Bondar has been lucky to have a best friend, Lana, to share the social circle of their Russian-Jewish immigrant culture. Problem is, Lana is developing curves in all the...more
Inconvenient is an honest and somewhat brutally portrayed novel on the effects of alcoholism on a family. As well as a story about growing up and finding oneself.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for what seems like forever. I would always forget that it was there to read. Inconvenient sounded like a good book and I wanted to read it, but the summary didn’t make it stick out in my mind. Which is probably why it sat on my shelf for so long. Once I started reading the story, I rarely put it d...more
Liked this a lot more than I thought I would at the beginning. Prose isn't always amazing, but the characters are very believable and engaging. From my LJ write-up:

My goal of noting where I saw a review, recommendation or just passing mention of a book when adding it to my Goodreads to-read shelf is clearly not being met, and I've unfortunately no memory where I heard aboutInconvenient, Margie Gelbwasser's first novel. I can see why I'd be interested once I did hear about it, as I generally love...more
Alison (AlisonCanRead)
Inconvenient is a painfully real book about parental alcoholism, immigrant life, and just growing up. Alyssa is the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. She is proud of her heritage, but hates being subjected to Russian stereotypes by the kids at school. Soon, schoolyard teasing is the least of her concerns as her mother slowly falls under the throes of alcoholism. Her mother's disease destroys the entire family. Alyssa now has to worry about getting to school, her mother's vast mood swings, h...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Alyssa is used to seeing her parents drink. As they're Russian Jews, alcohol is an honored guest at every party. It isn't until her mom's drinking habits interfere with Alyssa's life that she realizes her mom has a problem. Trapped by convention (It's nobody's business but our own!), Alyssa has to sit back and watch her mom become an alcoholic. In this warped reality, Alyssa becomes the parent and her mom the child. Things can't go on like they are or can they?

What I thought: I enjoyed this book...more
Jul 23, 2011 J. added it
Loved this book... especially the ending.
Michelle (Michelle&Leslie's Book Picks)
The blurb does a great job summarizing what Inconvenient was about so I'll just go on about my thoughts and feelings about this book. I've been reading out of my comfort zone lately, picking up "tough issues" type of books, and I am glad because Inconvenient was a fantastic, worthwhile read. While the book did mostly center around Alyssa's mother's descent into alcoholism, this book was a lot more than that. Themes of identity, family, friendship, loyalty, growing up, ethnic pride and first love...more
The BookWhisperer
Inconvenience is a brutal and honest truth for a young Russian Girl living with her alcoholic mother. Gelbwasser gives readers a very active writing style from page one. This is novel that will reach out and grab the readers pulling you through page after page with little effort. I sympathize with this young girl on so many levels. First, there is the lack of attention to what her life is becoming to cover up the "inconveniences" of her mother. Second, is that more concern appears spent on what...more
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...more
A fuller review will follow. First thoughts: this was an excellent YA novel, characters with depth, feeling, and a vivid reality. Very well written.

What bothered me about this book at first, seriously, were some of the details that set the background of location, because the fictional "Glenfair" is in fact the town where I actually live. I would still quarrel with some of these; for example, if Glenfair is "Little Moscow," as the author writes, it cannot be possible (and isn't) that these two ar...more
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...more
Jun 07, 2011 Christi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Review from my blog: http://christitheteenlibrarian.blogsp...

This was a deceptively powerful debut novel. Alyssa is an extraordinary narrator--we are immediately drawn into her world and eager to learn more about it. At the same time we're growing increasingly horrified for Alyssa as her family starts to crumble, but she seems to be the only one to notice. Wanting to keep your family life private is one thing, but reaching out and asking for help when it's desperately needed is quite another.

Cathy/The Crazy Bookworm
When I first read the premise for Inconvenient I couldn't wait to read it, but what I didn't know was how much I was going to love it! I am still left in awe by this book. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. The author immediately pulls you into Alyssa's world. Once an easy and care-free world slowly turns into a dark and lonely one. The author created such a incredible character cast, each character was so well written and so real. It's very easy to relate to the characters whether it's Al...more
alyssa and lana are best friends, partially because of their shared russian jewish heritage, which is rare in their community. lana keeps saying that alyssa's mom is fine- everyone's parents get sloppy when they drink sometimes. alyssa's dad just looks the other way. but alyssa knows her mom has a problem, and she's tired of cleaning up after her when she has her own problems to deal with- a blossoming but confusing romance with keith, her stretching partner for cross country, and lana's obsessi...more
This novel, for me, had a shaky start and I was concerned it might become a super light YA read. But it wasn’t. Inconvenient deals with alcoholism and the silence around it. I also found it interesting to look into a Jewish Russian lifestyle.
Thoughts while reading…
Who around me could be dealing with alcoholism and I don’t know about it. Many people who have issues with alcohol keep it very silent.
How far will you go to be accepted? How far will your kids go to be accepted? How far will your fr...more
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.

I passed this book on after only reading 18 Chapters in, about halfway through.

I didn't have any problems with the book, but it wasn't my type and I originally entered the giveaway for someone else. I was talking to her last weekend and after telling her that I had just been reading it and what had been going on, and she was interested. I figured it would be best to just pass it along now, with Russian Winter, and let them be properly read and enjoyed. I...more
This debut novel tells the story fo 15 year old Alyssa, a high school sophomore tyring to find and establish herself as she navigates many things in her life: her Russian Jewish heritage that is not shared by many in her small New Jersey town, her increasingly alcoholic mother, falling in love for the first time, and a changing relationship with her BFF who is also the only other Russian Jew in their high school class.

This book is at times heartwarming and heartwrenching and is s strong tale of...more
Claire Berslow
Don't even get me started on this book. Maybe it's just because my parents are also Russian immigrants, maybe because it's just what my book addiction was craving at the time that i read it; i don't know.
Regardless, i loved it!
Medeia Sharif
INCONVENIENT is a story about fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar's conflicts with a new boyfriend who may only be interested in a fling, a popularity-hungry best friend who’s drifting from her, classmates who poke fun at her Russian-Jewish heritage, and a loving mother whose lack of confidence leads her into heavy drinking. Alyssa and her father are in denial at first about the mom’s drinking until it becomes strongly apparent that she is out of control with her problem. This is a fantastic debut an...more
There was something special about this novel from the moment it quietly opened, set in suburban north Jersey. The story centers around a caretaking, sensitive, resiliant teenager who comes from the one of the worse kind of hells a teenager can exist in - that of a parent struggling with alcoholism. The portrayal of each of the members of the family - the denying patriarch, the addicted, erratic mother and the daughter - is honest and realistic. Do not expect a fluff YA novel. Both gritty and sen...more
'Inconvenient' is a very realistic account of a girl struggling with her mother's drinking problem. The way the story is written shows how her mother's actions affect Alyssa's life. I really loved the way the author showed Alyssa using cross-country as a means of escape. I run cross-country as well and completely understand. I also enjoyed the ending- it wasn't perfect. There was no ohmygod-she's-magically-okay moment, as one too often finds in stories. There was an ending that showed Alyssa sti...more
Denise Jukniewicz
I truly enjoyed this book. Any teens living in a dysfunctional household, will surely understand and relate to Alyssa's situation. Alyssa's strength and determination to move forward with her own life in spite of her mother's alcoholism and her father's lack of acknowlegment of it, is admirable. Ms. Gelbwasser came to the Mahwah Public Library in May, and graciously spoke to the teen audience offering advice, and critiques to those up and coming authors.
Interesting at times, sometimes funny...but I have to say there were way too many weird/awkward moments for me.

However, the author did do a great job of capturing the conflict of emotions that come with having an alcoholic family member. She also touched on the drama that comes with a bi-cultural background.
I absolutely loved this book. Best I've read in a very long time. Really drawn in and interest held throughout. Cared about characters. Descriptions were amazing. Author's style made characters come to life for me and were so relatable. I didn't want the story to end.
A teenage girl whose mom is an alcoholic and dad is in denial. I especially liked the Russian info and how much drinking is ingrained in that culture. The end left me hanging and wanting more.
Jesse Henning
Just alright - I really don't see the mass appeal in this one - it's both a teen romance and addiction story-by-numbers cast in a cultural light but no particular part really stands out.
Feb 15, 2011 Susanna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Excellent read! Tough story well handled. Highly recommend.
Very good.
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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...more
More about Margie Gelbwasser...
Pieces of Us

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