by Margie Gelbwasser
Publisher: Flux, 2010
ISBN: 9780738721484
For ages: 12+


In Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, drinking is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshki. But when her mom’s midday cocktails turn into an all-day happy hour, Alyssa must balance first kisses, cross-country running, and best-friend breakups while being around for the last call. Inconvenient tackles a variety of issues relevant to teens: peer pressure, the break-up of a friendship, romantic relationships, and the effects of a family member’s substance abuse.


“The story is both hilarious and heartbreaking, […] the situations are universal. […] The story, especially the ending, is honest and unsentimental about the difficulties Alyssa faces.” –Booklist

“Gelbwasser realistically portrays the shifting emotions of a teenager navigating complicated situations and conflicting loyalties. This is a complicated drama of people sinking to the lowest common denominator and rising to their best selves to do the right thing.” –VOYA

“…Alyssa’s story is a refreshing take on the YA problem novel, one that refuses melodrama and favors instead the powerful significance of the smaller moments of life-a smell, a look, a flash of a memory.” –School Library Journal

“Written with deep feeling, fully developed characters, a riveting plot, and an authentic depiction of the speech and interests of many contemporary teenagers, Inconvenient concludes realistically—with some hope but no happy ending.” –Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)

Reading Guide/Activities

INCQuestions for teachers

About the Author

Margie Gelbwasser has a MA in English and taught Language Arts for over ten years, currently teaching English at the college level. Her first novel, Inconvenient, was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens. Her second novel, Pieces of Us (March 2012, Flux), is told in multiple points of view and deals with cyberbullying, abuse, family relationships, and how one teen’s actions affect the other three. When not writing, Margie loves being a mom to her almost 6 year old boy, hiking, dancing, cooking, and watching bad television. She, her husband, and son live in the awesome suburbs of New Jersey.
Author’s website

School Visit Information

Margie’s presentations are tailored to the school’s needs. She is available for book and career talks, as well as writing workshops. She also conducts free Skype visits.