Published by Simon & Schuster Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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A heartbreaking story about finding yourself and your people, from the bestselling author of If I Stay, a major film starring Chloë Grace Moretz. For fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, John Green and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
'I got this whole-body feeling . . . it was like a message from future me to present me, telling me that in some way we weren’t just bound to happen, that we had, in some sense, already happened. It felt . . . inevitable.'
So far, the inevitable hasn’t worked out so well for Aaron Stein.
While his friends have gone to college and moved on with their lives, Aaron’s been left behind in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, running a failing bookshop with his dad, Ira. What he needs is a lucky break, the good kind of inevitable.
And then he meets Hannah. Incredible Hannah – magical, musical, brave and clever. Could she be the answer? And could they – their relationship, their meeting – possibly be the inevitable Aaron’s been waiting for?
TW: Addiction, grief, depression
I have a love-hate relationship with Gayle Forman’s books. Just One Day is probably one of my favourite YA books of all time but I really struggled with her last few releases. I was not a fan at all of I Was Here and while I did enjoy I Have Lost My Way, I didn’t find it to be as mindblowing as my experience of reading the Just One Day and If I Stay duologies. We Are Inevitable falls somewhere in between for me. There were lots of things that I liked about the novel but also many things that didn’t really work for me.
We Are Inevitable is set inside a bookstore where our main character, Aaron, lives with his father, Ira. Due to his brother’s troubles with addiction, his family has been torn apart and Aaron is left to pick up the pieces of their bookstore and home, which has been left disorganised and deeply in debt. As Aaron contemplates giving it all up and leaving town with Ira, he meets others who show him that some things are worth fighting for.
“Twenty-six letters and some punctuation marks and you have infinite words in infinite worlds. How is that not a miracle?”
One of my biggest gripes with the book is that the synopsis makes it all out to be about a romance between Aaron and Hannah, a musician he meets. And it really isn’t about that. The book is about family and identity, and was just so much deeper than just a romance story. The romance played such a small part of the story and I wasn’t really a big fan of how it played out either. Hannah came across to me as a little Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Aaron did some pretty weird things where Hannah was involved. I also was a bit on the fence about Aaron. I enjoyed his character but I felt that he was a bit difficult to connect with as a characters, and his actions were a bit frustrating at the start of the book.
I did really enjoy the other aspects of the book though. I thought it was a great depiction of the effects of addiction on families. I also really enjoyed the way that family and community themes and how things can be possible if people come together. And I really liked the disability and mental health representation in the book. It’s a short book that packs a lot into it.
The writing is beautiful, as all of Gayle Forman’s writing is. I absolutely loved the dinosaur metaphor throughout the entire book and I can just drown in the beautiful writing. I loved all of the books that were referenced throughout We Are Inevitable and it’s truly a book for bookish people. There is also a bit music component so music lovers will be able to connect with that aspect too.
We Are Inevitable wasn’t my favourite of Gayle Forman’s books but I really enjoyed the story, writing and themes explored in the novel. It’s a short novel that packs a huge punch.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Simon and Shuster for providing a review copy.
We Are Inevitable is available at all Australian retailers for $19.99 RRP.
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