Featured Review: We are Inevitable (Gayle Forman)
About This Book:
Aaron Stein used to think books were miracles. But not anymore. Even though he spends his days working in his family's secondhand bookstore, the only book Aaron can bear to read is one about the demise of the dinosaurs. It's a predicament he understands all too well, now that his brother and mom are gone and his friends have deserted him, leaving Aaron and his shambolic father alone in a moldering bookstore in a crusty mountain town where no one seems to read anymore.
So when Aaron sees the opportunity to sell the store, he jumps at it, thinking this is the only way out. But he doesn't account for Chad, a "best life" bro with a wheelchair and way too much optimism, or the town's out-of-work lumberjacks taking on the failing shop as their pet project. And he certainly doesn't anticipate meeting Hannah, a beautiful, brave musician who might possibly be the kind of inevitable he's been waiting for.
All of them will help Aaron to come to terms with what he's lost, what he's found, who he is, and who he wants to be, and show him that destruction doesn't inevitably lead to extinction; sometimes it leads to the creation of something entirely new.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*
WE ARE INEVITABLE is a YA contemporary read about grief, fate, addiction, and small business. Aaron owns the independent bookstore his parents had been running together after their bankruptcy and until his brother's death unraveled them. Now, Aaron feels like he is living like the dinosaurs after the asteroid hit. Time has run out, but they are ignoring the obvious.
After he finally decides to give up, things begin turning around for the store. Some guys begin working on the store and renovating it. His new friend, Chad, starts getting him to go out more and helping to organize inventory. As he gets out, Aaron meets Hannah, who seems inevitable, and who loves music like his brother did, but they have some things to learn if they are going to start anything. As Aaron tries to convince everyone around him what he knows to be true, he begins to learn that maybe he could possibly be wrong about some things- but could he be too late?
What I loved: This book was full of emotion and told from the perspective of someone who is so entrenched in his own that the writing took on the complexity of his. This was a deeper and more challenging read than I expected because of the intensity of the feelings it provokes. The themes here were broad and handled with a thought-provoking depth. Aaron is dealing with a lot of grief and challenging emotions (anger, sadness, guilt) around his brother's death, particularly considering that his brother was navigating addiction and the unreliability and challenges around that. He is also having trouble relating to his parents, who have dealt with their grief in their own ways. Other themes included truth/the damage of lying, the feeling of fate that is really dependent on choices, connection, and the power of having others around you.
The focus was mainly on community, family, and friendship, but the romance was an interesting addition. In its own way, it provided scenarios to learn more about healing, connection, and developing a deeper understanding. I appreciated the way it developed and where it was at the end of the book. As a small theme, I also really enjoyed the focus on books and their power of connection and understanding of the world around. The love of books and reading is ever-present throughout.
Final verdict: WE ARE INEVITABLE is a thought-provoking and emotional YA contemporary read that I would recommend for fans of SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG, THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, and LOOKING FOR ALASKA.
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