We Are Inevitable

Viking. Jun. 2021. 288p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780425290804. POP.
Gr 9 Up–After his brother dies from an overdose, Aaron is alone and adrift. His friends have all graduated, his mom has left town, and the family bookstore is literally falling to pieces around him. It seems inevitable for him to sell the store, but once it’s sold, an old friend of his brother’s named Chad suddenly convinces Aaron to make it wheelchair accessible, and a local crew of unemployed lumberjacks decides to assist in the renovations. Aaron doesn’t have the heart to tell them about the sale before everything spirals out of control. Aaron is a thoroughly unreliable narrator and a reluctant friend. Grief and loss have made him close himself off from the world, but it’s impossible for him to hide away from all the people who want to help. When the sale of the bookstore is revealed, he’s forced to confront his own secrecy and deception, which helps him begin to understand his brother’s addiction. The story is full of love and admiration for small businesses and small bookstores in particular. The themes of addiction and loss will resonate with some readers, and many will find the message of hope through pain and loss meaningful. Many of the main characters attend support groups, which are presented as valid and useful avenues for personal growth and accountability. Chad uses a wheelchair and Jax uses they/them pronouns. Aaron and his family are Jewish and coded as white. Their town is predominantly white with few Black residents.
VERDICT This is an additional purchase to hand to fans of heartfelt drama.

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