**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title We Are Inevitable
Author Gayle Forman
Release Date June 1, 2021
Date Read February 23, 2021
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. Talk about dinosaurs!
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 force 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.
After reading the Amazon Fairy Tale series that came out in December 2020, I was really excited to try another Gayle Forman book. Her book was my favorite of the bunch. Also, I don’t read a ton of contemporary so I was excited to read another.
Please note, there is content such as addition, loss, and depression in this story. Some readers might not find this suitable. I would like to note that these topic were covered respectfully and I think this story is tagged appropriately as YA.
Some Things I Liked
- Slightly older main character. I liked that Aaron was out of high school and the themes and subject matter of this book were not “high-school-centric”. I felt like I could connect with him more as I often have a hard time relating to high school kids today in novels.
- Heavy themes. This book is definitely not a happy-go-lucky kind of story. There are some heavy things that Aaron unpacks throughout the story and his journey was very emotional to follow.
- Unreliable narrator. I loved all of the book references throughout the book, from different novels and authors to the fact that Aaron himself is the most unreliable narrator of them all. I loved the way the author wove writing and books into this story.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- The romance. I wasn’t crazy about how the romance panned out. I wanted a bit more and I was hoping for more of a conclusion on Chad’s front.
As mentioned above, I found the ending to be a bit open-ended (my nice way of saying “lacking”) but, I don’t think this book should have a sequel. The purpose of Aaron’s healing was to move on and into the unknown. He learns not to fixate on “the inevitable” and to just live in the moment. A hard and fast conclusion would destroy the message of the lesson.
I liked this book. Did I want a bit more? Yes. Was I happy with what I got? Also, yes. I’d keep reading Gayle Forman’s books and I think this was a really interesting take on an unreliable narrator.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Keep My Heart in San Fransisco by Amelia Diane Coombs – if you liked the idea of heavier themes and a protagonist who has to come to terms with loss, try this stand alone set in San Fransisco.
- Recommended for You by Laura Silverman – if you liked the bookstore theme as well as themes of difficult home situations for the main characters, try this quirky rom-com.