Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Release: November 2010 by Flux
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.
Margie Gelbwasser tackles a tough subject in Inconvenient - Alcoholism. She does not sugarcoat the affect alcoholism takes on a person, a marriage or a family. It's raw, it's real, and it's heartbreaking.
Alyssa is a normal teenage girl, who lives her life in a "bubble"; her family is from Russia and they are Jewish. Being different during your teen years is kind of rough - she is shy, keeps to herself but she loves to run. She does have one really good friend, but lately her BFF is mostly interested in becoming part of the in-crowd. I found it hard to relate to Alyssa, only because of the culture difference.
In Alyssa's Russian heritage drinking is a huge part of their culture. It's normal, nothing to worry about - Right? Until something starts to go wrong at her mother's work place and the drinking starts to have a negative effect on their family. An inconvenience, as her dad calls it - but her dad doesn't know how bad it really is, Alyssa is covering for her mother.
This story is about more than just alcoholism; denial and trust play huge rules in Alyssa's life. During the story she "comes of age" and starts experiencing a lot of first for a teenage girl without a support system. Alyssa has some tough choices to make, during Inconvenient; will she follow in her mother's footsteps?