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We Are Inevitable

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'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 '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?


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'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 '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?

30 review for We Are Inevitable

  1. 4 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    I honestly don't know how to review this book. There were parts i liked and others I didn't. I sympathised with Aaron and his situation, all the terrible things that happened that turned him into a person who doesn't open up and always questions others intentions. But that didn't stop me from being irritated with him for most of the book. I liked the save the bookshop plot and the friends he made a long the way. Chad and Ira were such wholesome characters and i loved the builder guys. The romanc I honestly don't know how to review this book. There were parts i liked and others I didn't. I sympathised with Aaron and his situation, all the terrible things that happened that turned him into a person who doesn't open up and always questions others intentions. But that didn't stop me from being irritated with him for most of the book. I liked the save the bookshop plot and the friends he made a long the way. Chad and Ira were such wholesome characters and i loved the builder guys. The romance part was bland and uninteresting. And i had to stop myself from shouting at Hannah to run far away from this dude. In conclusion I'm happy with how the story ended although it was a very lacklustre read. Buddy read with Fares __ Its gayle forman and it sounds like its gonna break my heart Its a yes from me👍 Find Me: Ko-Fi • Blog • Tiktok • Instagram • Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    "I read the opening lines of the book, and it's like my own pages are coming unstuck. For so long, all I've felt is fear, and all this time, it was grief. I continue reading, remembering why I used to love books. Because they show us, in so many words, and so many worlds, that we are not alone. [As my father has always said] a miracle, in twenty-six letters." -- protagonist Aaron, on page 242 Aaron is nineteen years old, prone to excessive navel-gazing - to be fair, it's somewhat expected or comm "I read the opening lines of the book, and it's like my own pages are coming unstuck. For so long, all I've felt is fear, and all this time, it was grief. I continue reading, remembering why I used to love books. Because they show us, in so many words, and so many worlds, that we are not alone. [As my father has always said] a miracle, in twenty-six letters." -- protagonist Aaron, on page 242 Aaron is nineteen years old, prone to excessive navel-gazing - to be fair, it's somewhat expected or common at that age - and morosely watching the time crawl by in his secluded Pacific Northwest hometown. Each day he and his father Ira can be found manning theirs posts at the family's book store, though business traffic has become practically non-existent. The store was founded by his mother many years ago, but his parents recently divorced in the messy aftermath of his slightly older brother's drug addiction-related death. Aaron needs something to shake him out of these doldrums, and change is initially brought to the scene courtesy of Chad, a former antagonist from high school. Chad, now somewhat humbled and confined to a wheelchair after a snowboarding accident injury, amusingly but sort of believably ingratiates himself into Aaron's life, to Aaron's dismay and surprise. Through a 'comedy-of-errors' of sorts, within days Aaron finds himself quickly meeting some new people (like the trio of lumberjacks who serve as a quasi-'Greek chorus' . . . yes, you read that part correctly) and having new experiences - I suppose I can also use the tired phrase 'stepping outside of his comfort zone' - as life starts to finally change and accelerate for him in some unlikely but needed ways. (Note: the publisher's synopsis plays up the involvement of the character Hannah with the romance angle, but while her part is important it is also a bit misleading, as she is one of a dozen supporting characters.) It was interesting to see how things develop - owing to Aaron's good and bad decisions with his many relationships - and with We Are Inevitable author Forman has crafted a fairly solid coming-of-age dramedy that is populated with a number of well-meaning characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Creya

    Thank you to Edelweiss Plus and Viking Books for Young Readers for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Aaron’s parents own a bookstore, Bluebird Books. An “asteroid” has hit, and Aaron’s mother quickly left town. Ownership of the store has been transferred to Aaron, and he chooses to run the store with his father, Ira. As a child, Aaron loved to read, but he can no longer stomach any books after the asteroid. To Aaron, Bluebird Books has been failing for a long Thank you to Edelweiss Plus and Viking Books for Young Readers for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Aaron’s parents own a bookstore, Bluebird Books. An “asteroid” has hit, and Aaron’s mother quickly left town. Ownership of the store has been transferred to Aaron, and he chooses to run the store with his father, Ira. As a child, Aaron loved to read, but he can no longer stomach any books after the asteroid. To Aaron, Bluebird Books has been failing for a long time. The shelves and books are crumbling, and customers are pretty much nonexistent. When he finds some overdue credit card statements, IRS filing notices, and less-than-stellar bank statements, it is settled. Aaron is going to sell the store. He makes a deal with town local Penny and delays telling his father about the sale for as long as he can. We learn that the asteroid causing so much turmoil in Aaron’s life is the death of his brother, Sandy. Sandy was an addict who accepted help from no one. One of Sandy’s friends, Chad, sees Aaron in town and attempts to spark a friendship. Chad is in a wheelchair, and the entrance to Bluebird Books consists of stairs only. Three men (Ike, Richie, and Garry) see Chad and Aaron trying to make a ramp to the store out of rotted plywood. They bring back better quality wood and install a ramp for free. The men continue to return to the store, and their good deeds amount to a full renovation. Chad even offers to make a database system for digital inventory and bookselling online. Ira so badly wants to give the bookstore a second chance and agrees to pay the men in coffee. Aaron, however, is convinced it is a false deal. Are these men in it for tricks? We also have the story of Hannah. Chad doesn’t have a lot of friends, so he asks Aaron to a Beethoven’s Anvil show. There he meets singer Hannah Crew and feels an instant attraction to her. The chronicles of Aaron and Chad are super fun and include sneaking across the Canadian border without a passport to attend one of Hannah’s shows. I absolutely LOVED this story and the rowdy, hilarious characters in it. It really made me wish we had a family-owned bookstore in town. I will be adding Gayle Forman to my auto-buy authors list!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Éimhear (A Little Haze)

    Content Warning Substance abuse Depression Anxiety My Review No one makes me cry quite like Gayle Forman. She’s an author that I just click with. Reading her novels over the years has always been a moving experience and this was no exception. We Are Inevitable is a classic Gayle Forman YA. Here she tackles themes of addiction and loss, and crafts a quietly thought provoking and beautiful story that explores these difficult topics in a deeply sensitive manner. The book follows main character Aaron. Aa Content Warning Substance abuse Depression Anxiety My Review No one makes me cry quite like Gayle Forman. She’s an author that I just click with. Reading her novels over the years has always been a moving experience and this was no exception. We Are Inevitable is a classic Gayle Forman YA. Here she tackles themes of addiction and loss, and crafts a quietly thought provoking and beautiful story that explores these difficult topics in a deeply sensitive manner. The book follows main character Aaron. Aaron is the owner of his family bookshop since his parents put it in his name in an effort to offload the debt that they were all drowning in. Debt that has been caused in no small part by Aaron’s deceased brother Sandy’s substance addiction, and by the actions it caused him to make. But the bookstore is failing; Aaron’s father seems to be living in another world, his mother has left town, and Aaron is struggling to stay afloat. He is riddled with both anger and sadness. He feels failure is inevitable and this sense of utter hopelessness is what drives the plot. The blurb for this would have a potential reader believe that the meeting of Hannah and the development of a romance with her is what changes Aaron’s life, but I think the blurb is somewhat misleading. As the real catalyst for the character journey that Aaron embarks on comes in the form of Chad, a former high school jock of the meathead variety who became disabled following an accident. Yes I’m somewhat irked that disability was used to teach Chad a life lesson in order to become a better person etc etc... it’s such a tired trope with ableist connotations; ie portraying disability as a punishment, but his character and personality was well written and compelling to read about so I’m willing to somewhat overlook the ableist undertones as real effort was given to creating an authentic representation of a person who became physically disabled after an accident. What Chad does is sort of get in Aaron’s face. He almost browbeats him into becoming his friend by getting him to attend a music gig under misleading circumstances, and this then exposes Aaron to experiences outside the all encompassing suffocation that he was dealing with by not living a full life outside of his family bookshop. At the gig Aaron meets Hannah and very quickly falls for her. In Hannah he sees this person who will rescue him from the bleak inevitability of where his life is leading. What follows is a journey of personal discovery for Aaron... even if he doesn’t know that’s the journey he is on as he‘s emotionally blinkered by the anger he feels towards his brother for being an addict. The book is what I would term a very quiet read. Much of Aaron’s grief and anger is almost underplayed in the earlier parts of the novel which means that a lot of Aaron’s actions initially seem toxic and make him distinctly unlikeable. However it’s through these flaws of character that the story truly comes alive. There’s a messiness to grief, to hopelessness, and to anger. This isn’t a book that romanticises these emotions in any way, and it’s through feeling the full spectrum of human emotion that Aaron grows as a person and makes the journey to the book’s richly rewarding end point. Each of the supporting characters was interesting in their own right too with none feeling too stereotypical; Hannah was a little bit manic pixie dream girl to start with but when Aaron finally took his blinkers off and let her show him the real her it was the absolute best part of the book in my opinion. Personally I found the topic of substance addiction to be very sensitively handled. There’s honest discussion and depiction about the blame that is placed on the shoulders of those who struggle with substance addiction. This book in no way blames addicts, that sentiment however forms part of the evolution of the story so please be advised if that is something that could upset you as a reader. At the end of the novel Forman has a very moving and informative afterword that dispels any misconceived notions of victim blaming. As an unabashed fan of all things book related I really adored the bookshop setting of this book and the incorporation of many bookish references throughout the narrative. In many ways this novel was the perfect love letter to physical book stores which I think will be all the more keenly felt by this book’s readership because of the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in the forced shutdown of bookshops as we all had to stay home and practice social distancing. I found this novel to be wonderfully warm, filled with memorable characters, and rich with moments of true heartbreak and deep personal growth. Recommended to fans of contemporary YA. *An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review* Publishing 1st June 2021, Simon & Schuster Children's UK For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog Follow me on Twitter Friend me on Goodreads

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    We Are Inevitable is a cute story about the importance of independent bookstores. We Are Inevitable is a cute story with great characters. Aaron has always loved reading, but after everything fell apart the last few years the, the only book he reads is about dinosaurs. He decides to sell his family’s bookstore without telling anyone. Next thing he makes a new best friend and meets Hannah. Hannah isn’t what he expected, but he thinks they are inevitable. Unexpected friends start to fix up the boo We Are Inevitable is a cute story about the importance of independent bookstores. We Are Inevitable is a cute story with great characters. Aaron has always loved reading, but after everything fell apart the last few years the, the only book he reads is about dinosaurs. He decides to sell his family’s bookstore without telling anyone. Next thing he makes a new best friend and meets Hannah. Hannah isn’t what he expected, but he thinks they are inevitable. Unexpected friends start to fix up the bookstore. The bookstore has been struggling for years, and the importance of the bookstore is finally realized. Aaron lets many people done. We Are Inevitable is a story of family, friends and never giving up. This is a story of unexpected friendships and not giving up on people even when they let you down. The bookstore has been struggling for years, but is there a way it can finally be saved? Thank you Penguin Teen and Viking Books for We Are Inevitable. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I am always going to read Gayle’s books. Always. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Aaron. He’s sort of a jerk, but it’s understandable why he acts out. It’s the rest of the characters who ruled this story for me. I loved Chad and the Lumberjacks so very much. Plot wise, it’s interesting. The storytelling unfolds slowly and not completely in order. There are loads of flashbacks (but not really) and foreshadowing (but not really). I enjoyed the love of books, stories, and bookstores. And addi I am always going to read Gayle’s books. Always. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Aaron. He’s sort of a jerk, but it’s understandable why he acts out. It’s the rest of the characters who ruled this story for me. I loved Chad and the Lumberjacks so very much. Plot wise, it’s interesting. The storytelling unfolds slowly and not completely in order. There are loads of flashbacks (but not really) and foreshadowing (but not really). I enjoyed the love of books, stories, and bookstores. And addiction was a topic I wasn’t expecting at first. Overall, it was compelling and I definitely wanted to know how it ended, but something kept me from loving this one. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This is a story about a bookstore and addiction. Forman weaves literary themes in with some self-help and it comes together quite well. Aaron is a lovable, flawed teenager who has had to deal with a lot of grief and disappointment. He is definitely stuck in a rut, but considers himself the one to save his father, determine the fate of the bookstore, etc. When we look around and think we are the 'healthy' one in the bunch, we might just need to take another look. Since Aaron and dad Ira are a bit This is a story about a bookstore and addiction. Forman weaves literary themes in with some self-help and it comes together quite well. Aaron is a lovable, flawed teenager who has had to deal with a lot of grief and disappointment. He is definitely stuck in a rut, but considers himself the one to save his father, determine the fate of the bookstore, etc. When we look around and think we are the 'healthy' one in the bunch, we might just need to take another look. Since Aaron and dad Ira are a bit gloomy, Forman fills the book with quirky characters from the community. I especially enjoyed the Lumber jacks and the conversations that Aaron has with Chad, the old classmate in a wheelchair. This was good, but not great. I keep waiting for a Forman book that I enjoy as much as her earlier works like Just One Day and If I Stay and their sequels. We just aren't a match anymore. It's been fun, but I am moving on. Thank you to Viking Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This was a great book! I loved I Have Lost My Way by this author when I read it a couple of years ago so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I had no idea what to expect but I was pretty sure that this book would be a good bet since I have enjoyed the author’s work in the past and part of the story takes place in a bookstore. There’s just something about stories about books and bookstores. I found this book to be a very enjoyab This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This was a great book! I loved I Have Lost My Way by this author when I read it a couple of years ago so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I had no idea what to expect but I was pretty sure that this book would be a good bet since I have enjoyed the author’s work in the past and part of the story takes place in a bookstore. There’s just something about stories about books and bookstores. I found this book to be a very enjoyable read from beginning to end. Aaron feels like he is kind of stuck and things are just going to happen because they are inevitable. He runs a struggling bookstore with his father, Ira, but he doesn’t have a lot to look forward to on a daily basis. He decides to try to sell some of his brother’s records to make some money and he runs into Chad. Chad quickly inserts himself into Aaron’s life and he meets Hannah. This starts a chain of events where things are changing at the bookstore and he has some really big issues to deal with before it gets too late. I was hooked by this story right away. I felt really bad for Aaron and wanted to see things start working out better for him. I understood the decisions that he made and liked seeing him work through some of the big things in his life. I really loved the cast of characters in this book. Chad was such a positive influence and I love the fact that he didn’t let his disability stop him from doing anything. Hannah was great and has overcome a lot in her life. Ike and the crew at the bookstore were fantastic and usually brought a smile to my face when they showed up on the page. I would recommend this book to others. I found this to be a very well written story with wonderful characters that dealt with some very big issues. I will definitely be reading more of Gayle Forman’s work in the future. I received an advanced review copy of this book from Penguin Teen via Bookish First.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    “Twenty-six letters and some punctuation marks and you have infinite words in infinite worlds.” The author calls this book a “love letter to books, and to booksellers” and there are so many bookish delights: 📖 I got to read about other people who love books as much as I do. 📖 The chapter headings are book titles! Why didn’t I think of that?! [Must steal borrow this idea if I ever write a book…] 📖 Bookish references in abundance! Books within books are one of my top five favourite bookish things. “Twenty-six letters and some punctuation marks and you have infinite words in infinite worlds.” The author calls this book a “love letter to books, and to booksellers” and there are so many bookish delights: 📖 I got to read about other people who love books as much as I do. 📖 The chapter headings are book titles! Why didn’t I think of that?! [Must steal borrow this idea if I ever write a book…] 📖 Bookish references in abundance! Books within books are one of my top five favourite bookish things. Book titles are casually scattered throughout the book. Storylines of well known books are mentioned. Movies that began their lives as books are discussed (the book was better). “Seriously? It was also a book first?” “Seriously.” “Are all movies books first?” “Just the best ones.” If you’re like me and likely to panic around the halfway point when you wish you’d been making a list of all of the books that have been mentioned, don’t worry; there’s a bibliography at the end. 📖 Independent bookstores! We get to hang out in not one, but two of them! With booksellers who desperately love books and about making sure the book the reader needs finds its way to them. “Tell me: What’s the last book you read that you loved?” 📖 The main bookstore has genres grouped together in a way that makes so much sense. I could happily spend my entire review talking about the books, bookstores and booksellers but there’s more to this book than books. We also come face to face with some pretty difficult topics. Multiple characters are dealing with addiction, either their own or a loved one’s. Likewise, multiple characters are grieving. Chad, my favourite character, is living with a spinal cord injury. I adore Chad, although I expect I wouldn’t have been a huge fan of him before his accident. He’s had some pretty impressive post traumatic growth and his attitude is amazing. I could have done without him saying “dawg” and “son” all the time but I guess no one’s perfect. Speaking of not being perfect, Aaron (our main character) is definitely a work in progress. I really didn’t like him at all for a good portion of the book, during which he basically treats everyone around him like garbage. He did begin to make more sense to me as I got to know him but until then, ugh! I loved Aaron’s father, Ira, because he loves books so much. The fact that he’s still so passionate about them, despite grief, anxiety and depression, made me love him even more. He truly comes alive when he talks books and that resonated with me. I liked the Lumberjacks, getting to know Ike the best. He came up with my favourite line (pardon his French): “Fudge a duck on a hot sidewalk!” You might be interested in this book because of the romance, which is pretty insta, but it’s not the main focus of the book. Aaron, a young man who doesn’t like music, falls for a young woman who’s in a band. Every time I see her, I feel that thing: the inevitable. The thing is: I don’t trust the inevitable. I mean, what has inevitable done for me? Ruined my life is what. I was ready to love Hannah but never formed an emotional connection with her. Her purpose seemed to be to act as a mirror for Aaron. I didn’t feel like I got to know Hannah that well and her bandmates are even more of a mystery to me. I really wanted to find out more about Jax, especially when it looked as though they were going to become more integral to the story, but pretty much all I know for sure about them is their pronouns (they/them). A few things didn’t make sense to me. (view spoiler)[If Aaron’s brother’s addiction cost their family so much (and right now I’m only talking about the cost to their finances), how did he ever manage to collect such an extensive collection of rare vinyls? Wouldn’t he have spent that money on drugs? Even if he did manage to accumulate so many, in the grips of addiction, wouldn’t he have sold them? I know he gave them to Aaron but that only explains the final five months of his life. Also, early in the story we learn that Ike’s wife’s fibromyalgia symptoms stopped her from being able to come to the bookstore years ago. Towards the end of the book she’s at the bookstore several times. It is mentioned once that she has a walker but it didn’t ring true to me. If she‘s well enough to be at the bookstore now, wouldn’t she have already been there before the renovations began? (hide spoiler)] “Are the answers to all life’s questions in books?” “Of course,” he says. “That’s what makes them miracles.” Content warnings include mention of addiction, disability, grief, mental health and suicidal ideation. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children's Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster UK, for the opportunity to read this book. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kyle

    4.5 Stars ⭐️

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fares

    I'm very unsure of how to rate this. But maybe a 3.25 stars? A book about books should be relatable, right?! The relatable parts, the bookish parts, are so very relatable and good and I liked them but it's not all good, some parts I found that I'm reading thru just to get back to the bookish relatable parts. I also don't like Aaron, and this created a bit of a problem bc the reason I chose this book was so that I can read a contemporary from a book loving male perspective. That should be very rela I'm very unsure of how to rate this. But maybe a 3.25 stars? A book about books should be relatable, right?! The relatable parts, the bookish parts, are so very relatable and good and I liked them but it's not all good, some parts I found that I'm reading thru just to get back to the bookish relatable parts. I also don't like Aaron, and this created a bit of a problem bc the reason I chose this book was so that I can read a contemporary from a book loving male perspective. That should be very relatable but it wasn't. Aaron is in a phase where he's not reading or at least doesn't enjoy it. But more than that he wasn't entirely a good person, and his reasons which were held from us until the very ending didn't really convince me or make me feel ok with him. All that said some cool side characters are in here, funny and nice and I enjoyed them. Many books are mentioned too and what I love is that they are real books, not some imaginary books. Real titles and real authors and that just was amazing. A great friendship and family even if it's broken but still holding up. Books, friends and family now that's how you win me. The book started lighthearted and had some funny moments and at the end it gets heavy and deals with addiction and death. I found the juxtaposition to be weird and didn't sit well with me. I love lighthearted books and I love heavy books but I feel like this was neither. And that's fine but reading something like that made me not know how to feel, should I laugh here? Should I cry? Is this build up gonna be heartbreaking? That anticipation could've been better instead I ended up just having confused feelings? And so I'm unsure to whom I'd recommend this exactly but I'd say if you like books AND music at least give this a try. -------------------------------- Buddy read with Miss Mish Mash

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Headlines: Melancholy bordering on sad Injections of hope Families grieving I found We Are Inevitable to be an incredibly melancholy read. The main character Aaron was burdened with so many stresses and emotions that a 19 year old shouldn't have that I got why he was the way he was. Still, I needed those bits of hope that were occasionally pieced into the story. This was a story for booklovers, about a booklover who owned a bookstore. However, even the bookstore had tragedy in its shelves. Aaron's fa Headlines: Melancholy bordering on sad Injections of hope Families grieving I found We Are Inevitable to be an incredibly melancholy read. The main character Aaron was burdened with so many stresses and emotions that a 19 year old shouldn't have that I got why he was the way he was. Still, I needed those bits of hope that were occasionally pieced into the story. This was a story for booklovers, about a booklover who owned a bookstore. However, even the bookstore had tragedy in its shelves. Aaron's father, Ira was difficult to fathom, his mother a puzzle and his brother created an unresolved bundle of emotion. There were key themes of grief in this book and you need to be ready for that, alongside good mental illness representation. There were a number of clever uses of other books, book quotes and how books can soothe and solve within the story and I really appreciated those nuggets. I didn't buy into the romance and the story let me know why that was. One of our largest shelves has split down the middle, like the chesnut tree in Jane Eyre. And anyone who's read Jane Eyre knows what that portends. I found this book a bit of a pacing roller coaster but it still kept my attention. I did feel the emotion of the culmination and that was satisfying. Overall this was a book I liked but didn't love. There are other triggers in this book that I haven't mentioned, so please look for those on other reviews or DM me for details. Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for the review copy. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    4.5/5 Oh, my GOODNESS, We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman is one of the best YA novels I have read in a while. I don't know who wouldn't be excited about a book that focuses on a bookstore, and I could definitely relate to the small-town feel as well. I found Aaron to be such an endearing character, and I think the best way to enjoy this book is to listen to the audio. The narrator is Sunil Malhotra and I really can't get over how great of a job he did. He was so fun to listen to and listening to 4.5/5 Oh, my GOODNESS, We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman is one of the best YA novels I have read in a while. I don't know who wouldn't be excited about a book that focuses on a bookstore, and I could definitely relate to the small-town feel as well. I found Aaron to be such an endearing character, and I think the best way to enjoy this book is to listen to the audio. The narrator is Sunil Malhotra and I really can't get over how great of a job he did. He was so fun to listen to and listening to this book was like listening to someone tell a story. He was very animated, and I loved all his different voices for different characters. I honestly think his narration made me love the book even more, and I am SO GLAD I listened to the audiobook. I also loved the entire cast of characters, every one of them is unique and quirky, and almost all of them are dealing with something. I was in tears before the first half of the book was even over, and although I couldn't relate to what they were going through, Forman still gave me all the feels. I also adored the fact that each chapter started with a book title which would come up during that chapter. I love when authors do little fun things like this, and it was such a great and unique idea. I have had Forman's newer books on my list for quite a while now and I am so glad I finally got to one. I loved everything about her writing, from the conversational style to the way it flowed so perfectly. I read I Was Here previously, and while I enjoyed that one, I LOVED this one. The book I finished before this one was a really dark and heavy thriller, and while We Are Inevitable does deal with tough topics, it still has that lovely lighter feel that makes it a good palate cleanser. It made me laugh so many times and I loved the mix of humor and seriousness. It created the perfect blend for me, and I just did not want to put the book down. I am already looking forward to reading my next book by Forman! Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    romana

    "I continue reading, remembering why I used to love books. Because they show us, in so many words, and so many worlds, that we are not alone. A miracle, in twenty-six letters." So... here's the thing. I don't think this book is a love story – not the traditional one when Aaron falls in love with Hannah. Yes, it is there, but there is also so much more than just superficiality. This book is about more than one kind of love, and thus, about books, family and friendship. Although the description says "I continue reading, remembering why I used to love books. Because they show us, in so many words, and so many worlds, that we are not alone. A miracle, in twenty-six letters." So... here's the thing. I don't think this book is a love story – not the traditional one when Aaron falls in love with Hannah. Yes, it is there, but there is also so much more than just superficiality. This book is about more than one kind of love, and thus, about books, family and friendship. Although the description says it's about Aaron and Hannah, that's not actually true. There is a lot going on and those things may have started because of her, but she is just a person, the book is about much more than her and Aaron. And that's why I'm ignoring the description right now and saying that this book was great. Because it was, just not a love story which I expected when I bought it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    I was super excited to read this book about a failing used bookstore and a community that pulled together to try to save it. There were some genius pieces I loved (like the chapter titles are book titles!). I did struggle a little to connect to the characters especially the main character Aaron. I felt like he was a little slow on the uptake as far as how boneheaded he was being in his choices. I felt like the romantic interest needed a bit more developing too. But as far as an emotional family I was super excited to read this book about a failing used bookstore and a community that pulled together to try to save it. There were some genius pieces I loved (like the chapter titles are book titles!). I did struggle a little to connect to the characters especially the main character Aaron. I felt like he was a little slow on the uptake as far as how boneheaded he was being in his choices. I felt like the romantic interest needed a bit more developing too. But as far as an emotional family story this book hit home with me, and I am not ashamed to admit that I definitely cried through the last couple of chapters. I did also really like the diversity in the cast. Not only was there a character in a wheelchair but their was a character who used they/them pronouns and it wasn’t called out or anything it just was. I also loved the books they mentioned and the light humor that balanced the emotional pieces.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    We Are Inevitable was a book that I definitely needed to jump into today. To begin with, I hate that I'm at work and I'm bored doing absolutely nothing. Definitely wish I was home because then I could be with my dogs and doing housework or whatever. Yet, here I am... sitting at my desk... reading books. Which has absolutely nothing to do with my actual job. So... yeah. Other than that, this book definitely took me on an emotional ride. Which can be a great thing because I got to learn about so ma We Are Inevitable was a book that I definitely needed to jump into today. To begin with, I hate that I'm at work and I'm bored doing absolutely nothing. Definitely wish I was home because then I could be with my dogs and doing housework or whatever. Yet, here I am... sitting at my desk... reading books. Which has absolutely nothing to do with my actual job. So... yeah. Other than that, this book definitely took me on an emotional ride. Which can be a great thing because I got to learn about so many people and their backgrounds. Or how they cope with lost. Whether it was an accident or an unfortunate death - everyone copes in different ways. It's just unfortunate that some people turn to drugs and an addiction is formed. Now I've never dealt with an addiction, unless you count the book addiction I currently have, but I do have some family members that are addicts. Whether it's drugs, alcohol or anything else - I've seen them at their worst and when they are trying to pick themselves up again. It's not the same as living through it but these characters gave me a whole other glimpse into the life of addiction. In the end, I think the ending was really cute and it put a smile on my face. I'm just really happy that everyone kind of pitched in and followed their dreams. I can't wait for the next book that Gayle is going to write. I bet it's going to spectacular.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    This was corny as hell, but in the best possible way.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dallas Strawn

    Gayle Forman has outdone herself here...in her upcoming YA coming-of-age/romance/family drama, she has written simply a love letter to booksellers, book lovers, and the bookish community in general. I truly loved every page of this book and I only wish it had been longer. This story centers on a young man named Aaron who is working in his family's used bookstore and struggling with the recent loss of his brother to addiction, and the book store is struggling in a small town; leading Aaron to que Gayle Forman has outdone herself here...in her upcoming YA coming-of-age/romance/family drama, she has written simply a love letter to booksellers, book lovers, and the bookish community in general. I truly loved every page of this book and I only wish it had been longer. This story centers on a young man named Aaron who is working in his family's used bookstore and struggling with the recent loss of his brother to addiction, and the book store is struggling in a small town; leading Aaron to question the inevitable... And a lot more happens that I don't want to spoil for you but I will say he finds a love interest in my favorite character in the book, Hannah, and a great former enemy turned new friend in Chad, who is hilarious and steals every scene he is in. This book is heartwarming, heartbreaking, and you just get All. The. Feels. Gayle Forman does what she does best, and makes you cry, laugh, laugh til you cry because it's so dang funny, and just experience all those emotions that warm your soul. This book was everything I needed, and even though it plays a somewhat small part she writes about addiction beautifully, and she is going to bring such a great message to the YA audience about the struggles and pains of alcoholism and narcotics. All the Stars... Thank you to Bookish First and Penguin Teen for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. We Are Inevitable is a love letter to bookstores, readers, and authors. While this book is about saving a crumbling bookstore, it is about addiction and overcoming grief. I have always loved the authors writing and I can say the same for this book as well. It took me a little bit to get into the book because it was depressing from the start, but once I knew more about the characters I was hooked. Aaron is the ow Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. We Are Inevitable is a love letter to bookstores, readers, and authors. While this book is about saving a crumbling bookstore, it is about addiction and overcoming grief. I have always loved the authors writing and I can say the same for this book as well. It took me a little bit to get into the book because it was depressing from the start, but once I knew more about the characters I was hooked. Aaron is the owner of his parent’s failing bookstore. He and his dad run the bookstore, which needs some serious updating and some actual customers. One morning Aaron finds a stack of unpaid credit card bills and realizes the only way to get out of going bankrupt is to sell the store. He goes to a town local to sell the store, but makes her promise not to tell his dad because it will break him. While figuring out how to tell his dad the news, he runs into Chad who was his brother’s good friend. Chad wants to see the bookstore, but can’t make it in to the store because they don’t have a ramp for his wheelchair. This is really where the story begins. I don’t want to go into any more detail because I went into this knowing it was about saving a bookstore. I really loved the characters and definitely connected to them. I felt so much sadness and pain for both Aaron and his father Ira. I loved the characters who come to rescue the store and their bantering back and forth. “Because the hard part of falling down is not the falling, or the getting back up. It’s seeing what happens to the people you fall on. You get bruised; they get flattened.” We Are Inevitable is heart warming and heart breaking at the same time. I felt all the feels reading this beautiful book. I felt so many connections while reading this book and simply put I loved it all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    This took me ages to read, which wouldn't ordinarily be a good sign, however, once I saddled up and devoted undivided time to it, I liked it. It is a slow burn, a very slow burn. I was confused at times and found myself a little bit lost with the characters, who was who and where did they fit? What exactly was going on? How did this kid suddenly come to own a bookshop at his tender age? Gradually it became clearer, but I wonder how much tolerance for this the target audience might have. So in th This took me ages to read, which wouldn't ordinarily be a good sign, however, once I saddled up and devoted undivided time to it, I liked it. It is a slow burn, a very slow burn. I was confused at times and found myself a little bit lost with the characters, who was who and where did they fit? What exactly was going on? How did this kid suddenly come to own a bookshop at his tender age? Gradually it became clearer, but I wonder how much tolerance for this the target audience might have. So in that way, it does miss the mark a little bit. It rewards perseverance which most teens are not going to put up with. In the end, I became attached to the characters, I really liked their quirk and I loved the inclusiveness and the way that diversity of gender and sexuality was just part of their lives. I quite like a YA story where the parents are a bit useless and the teens have to take charge. There are some definite glitches but the overall feeling I had at the end of the book was that it was a good read. Not a great read, but one that is rewarding after the halfway point. I'm kind of damning it with faint praise, mostly because I'm a bit conflicted. I loved that it was set in a bookshop. I loved that there was a strong music element. I really liked the romance, fraught with difficulty but full of goodness. The parent thing is problematic for me. I'd have loved a firmer hand with the editing to make the beginning of the story as strong as the second half. In the end, I don't think it is memorable, which is a shame, because this author can write wonderful books. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me access to this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: substance abuse & addiction, aggression towards addicts 2 Aaron Stein knows the bookstore he runs with his father is a waste of time- too bad no one can convince his dad. Of course he doesn't pay enough attention to the world around him to really listen anyway, or notice just how bad things have gotten. So Aaron takes advantage of that, and decides to sell the bookstore. The obvious choice starts to get a whole lot less obvious when suddenly his father, a co I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: substance abuse & addiction, aggression towards addicts 2 Aaron Stein knows the bookstore he runs with his father is a waste of time- too bad no one can convince his dad. Of course he doesn't pay enough attention to the world around him to really listen anyway, or notice just how bad things have gotten. So Aaron takes advantage of that, and decides to sell the bookstore. The obvious choice starts to get a whole lot less obvious when suddenly his father, a construction crew, and a former friend of his brother- and his former bully- all decide that upgrading the store is their personal project. And with possible love on the horizon and calls from his mom to avoid, he still hasn't managed to mention the sale to his dad. This wasn't the book for me. At all. I can see other people enjoying it, but there was almost nothing for me here personally. What I did like was the concept of Chad, who was once a meathead jock stereotype and is not a chill, funny, business minded 20-something in a wheelchair. It did vaguely feel like one of "those" types of disabled characters, but as someone not physically disabled I don't know how someone else would see it. But I do appreciate him being an interesting character, and the fact that there are 2 wheelchair-users in this book, one of which is nonbinary. And I haven't read many books involving someone coming to terms with seeing addicts as, well, actual people, so as much as I dislike Aaron for his initial view, it is an interesting concept for a book. However, I do in fact hate Aaron and I do not at all enjoy the way this book is written. It is so preposterously pretentious and tropey about Aaron liking books I could not, for a single second, take it seriously. He has to explain the word "hyperbolic" to a grown man. He doesn't "like music" because he only likes books- I mean, what? He says "commandeer" and people go "wow! he uses big words! he's way smarter than us!", which is just as bad as the supposedly not smart character using the word "dawg" every other sentence, which not only is bad writing but also feels racist since that's AAVE. This book also constantly skips forward into the future with snatches about how eventually he'll know this or do that, and it just doesn't work for me at all. Besides the book store itself, the romance is supposed to be the main part of this book, and I just... don't buy it for a second. I have a note written that says "she's a flat character and still too cool to fall for him", and I really do stand by that. Hannah is a manic pixie dream girl, she's every indie movie boy's love interest, her only personality traits are doing music and being a recovering addict. And yet at the same time, as the lead singer of a cool band with cool friends, you still have to wonder why she would ever in a million years want to date Aaron. It doesn't make sense, and they have zero chemistry to help me overlook it. And finally, this book left a bad taste in my mouth because it so clearly was supposed to be an inspirational coming of age as Aaron deals with understanding addiction but it's done so offensively. Forgetting the actual comparison this book makes, you shouldn't need to personally experience something in order to have empathy! I do not at all feels like Aaron grows or learns anything throughout this entire novel. I didn't like this book! I'm sure it'll work for other people out there, but it has too many problems for me to overlook and I generally didn't like how it was written.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    It didn't start so well for me, couldn't get into it. But I ended up absolutely loving. I couldn't put in the down after a 100 pages. And also, the most amazing thing happens at the end where we get a fucking cameo of my faves, Mia and Adam (if you know, you know!). Anyway, would definitely recommend, but keep in mind that the beginning is a bit hard to digest, as the main character/narrator is acting like an ass. It didn't start so well for me, couldn't get into it. But I ended up absolutely loving. I couldn't put in the down after a 100 pages. And also, the most amazing thing happens at the end where we get a fucking cameo of my faves, Mia and Adam (if you know, you know!). Anyway, would definitely recommend, but keep in mind that the beginning is a bit hard to digest, as the main character/narrator is acting like an ass.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    Thank you to PenguinTeen for sending me an ARC of this book! TW for the content of this book: addiction, death (especially of a loved one and how the family chooses to grieve), talk and discussion of death, drinking, divorced/ separated parents, mentions of car accidents and other accidents. (these are the major TW's that I could recall). Firstly, I would just like to share my general thoughts on this story. If you don't know, the plot this book revolves around our main character trying to save/ Thank you to PenguinTeen for sending me an ARC of this book! TW for the content of this book: addiction, death (especially of a loved one and how the family chooses to grieve), talk and discussion of death, drinking, divorced/ separated parents, mentions of car accidents and other accidents. (these are the major TW's that I could recall). Firstly, I would just like to share my general thoughts on this story. If you don't know, the plot this book revolves around our main character trying to save/sell his father's bookstore. The writing and the constant connections to literature is something that I loved so much throughout this story. There are so many unique ideas explored in this story that I just couldn't find in others. The characters: There were such a wide variety of well rounded characters in this story, and over time, a found-family did develop really well between people you normally would not expect. My favorite characters had to either be Hannah or Ira, though they are very different people. In terms of the main character, while I did really enjoy his character, he could get whiny at times (however I do realize why he did get so upset. He would just show his emotions in a very childish way sometimes). The plot: while there was a clear path on this plot and it was not that complex, I actually really enjoyed its simplicity and focus. I think that the plot was actually spaced out very very well, and I was never really bored. I would stay that the story did take a little while for me to get into, but once I was into it, I could not put it down. Another thing that I would love to discuss is the ideas that are presented within the story. The author does a wonderful job highlighting things such as how addiction is presented in society vs how it actually is, the different ways people grief and so much more. There were so many little connections to different books and music that I just felt so at home with.

  24. 5 out of 5

    lily ✿

    [2.75 stars] reasons i absolutely had to read this book: 1) gayle forman is the author, and 2) it has an incredible title (the title also ended up being relevant throughout the book, which i love.) while i went into it thinking that it would be a love story, it ended up being much more than that. aaron’s connection with hannah is not the main plot of the book - instead, it explores addiction, grief, and friendship. aaron is the owner of bluebird books, which he views as similar to dinosaurs - extinc [2.75 stars] reasons i absolutely had to read this book: 1) gayle forman is the author, and 2) it has an incredible title (the title also ended up being relevant throughout the book, which i love.) while i went into it thinking that it would be a love story, it ended up being much more than that. aaron’s connection with hannah is not the main plot of the book - instead, it explores addiction, grief, and friendship. aaron is the owner of bluebird books, which he views as similar to dinosaurs - extinct and replaced by soulless corporations. to him, the store is a lost cause, and the tragedy that has occurred in his life has left him alone, bitter, and without his former love of reading. that is, until chad enters the scene. (yes, there is a character named chad, and yes, he used to be a fratboy type dude, but he’d had a redemption arc.) he had a spinal injury and is now in a wheelchair, giving us some awesome disability rep. he’s an optimist, and along with the lumberjacks in town, he’s determined to breathe life back into this business that was on the edge of death. here’s where it gets complicated: aaron doesn’t want him to. i understand why aaron behaves the way that he does, but i have to admit that i spent the majority of the book irritated at him. (wanting the bookstore to be set on fire?? constantly yelling at people who are doing nice things for him because he’s afraid of being conned?? i wanted to yell at him for constantly being an ass and ruining his own life.) other than aaron, we’ve got a lovable cast of characters. i most related to ira, who was 1. sad, and 2. loves books. overall, this was a quick read with a satisfying ending.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I should have known by the author that this book would pack a punch when it came to emotions. While this one crept up on me, it was still very heavy at times and chalk full of emotions. Aaron feels stuck in his small town. The bookshop he owns is failing. His father seems to have given up. And all of his friends have gone off to college. After one horrible day, Aaron makes a life altering decision in the spur of the moment - but suddenly everything starts changing and Aaron might have just made I should have known by the author that this book would pack a punch when it came to emotions. While this one crept up on me, it was still very heavy at times and chalk full of emotions. Aaron feels stuck in his small town. The bookshop he owns is failing. His father seems to have given up. And all of his friends have gone off to college. After one horrible day, Aaron makes a life altering decision in the spur of the moment - but suddenly everything starts changing and Aaron might have just made the worst mistake yet. This book featured heavily on grief, loss, and addiction. Because of these themes, the characters were flawed and broken and just trying to survive. But it also shows that you never really know what people are going through when you're too blinded by your own issues. Aaron was a complicated main character. He's so angry and that just came across in his internal dialogue. Because of the demons of his past he finds it very hard to trust people and doesn't believe when people are kind just for kindness sake. All of his relationships are strained including the one with his father. And this broke my heart. His father was such a sweet old man who was just wanting to spend time with his son in the bookstore. Yes, he was set in his old ways but over the course of the book started to come alive and it was such a joy to read. This book was so character heavy and I found myself just drawn to all of the supporting characters. There was a romance but I wasn't a huge fan of it. But honestly, I don't think we were supposed to be. I believe Forman used this relationship as a way to get Aaron to finally see things. The theme of addiction was very heavy here and I really appreciated how it was portrayed. Aaron goes through the emotions of being angry at his brother for his addiction to finally seeing the struggles and coming to terms with everything that happened. It was really beautiful to read. I also loved the feel of the small town community. A heavy book but uplifting at the same time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mridu aka Storypals

    I loved it so much! It's not a love story. But it is definitely a love letter to books, bookshops, readers. Everyone, HYPE IT UP! I loved it so much! It's not a love story. But it is definitely a love letter to books, bookshops, readers. Everyone, HYPE IT UP!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shawntaye Hopkins

    I spent two snowy evenings glued to my reading chair, devouring this book about a struggling bookstore and the book-loving father and son who run it. {Thank you @PenguinTeen for the gifted advance copy through @netgalley.} This book is a book list. The chapters are book titles. Books are recommended. Books are requested. Two characters throw one of my favorite novels across the bookstore and I gasp. We Are Inevitable speaks my bookish love language. This book is also a playlist. The main character, I spent two snowy evenings glued to my reading chair, devouring this book about a struggling bookstore and the book-loving father and son who run it. {Thank you @PenguinTeen for the gifted advance copy through @netgalley.} This book is a book list. The chapters are book titles. Books are recommended. Books are requested. Two characters throw one of my favorite novels across the bookstore and I gasp. We Are Inevitable speaks my bookish love language. This book is also a playlist. The main character, Aaron, decides he is a book person and not a music person. This annoyed me at first (actually a lot about Aaron annoyed me in the first half the book), but you soon realize Aaron is grieving some huge losses in his life and this strange distinction is part of that. Aaron meets a girl who wants to prove that books and music are fraternal twins. But this isn’t a romance. It is first and foremost about the bookstore, the family behind the bookstore, and the community it serves. The family and others have suffered because of drug addictions. They’re doing their best to find happiness after loss. And the reader is left to wonder if they will survive the inevitable closing of the bookstore. This was a perfect escape to my favorite place, a bookstore. It is feel-good YA even though they deal with some tough issues. But, overall, it was hopeful and loving.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    This is a story about a bookstore and addiction. Forman weaves literary themes in with some self-help and it comes together quite well. Aaron is a lovable, flawed teenager who has had to deal with a lot of grief and disappointment. He is definitely stuck in a rut, but considers himself the one to save his father, determine the fate of the bookstore, etc. When we look around and think we are the 'healthy' one in the bunch, we might just need to take another look. Since Aaron and dad Ira are a bit This is a story about a bookstore and addiction. Forman weaves literary themes in with some self-help and it comes together quite well. Aaron is a lovable, flawed teenager who has had to deal with a lot of grief and disappointment. He is definitely stuck in a rut, but considers himself the one to save his father, determine the fate of the bookstore, etc. When we look around and think we are the 'healthy' one in the bunch, we might just need to take another look. Since Aaron and dad Ira are a bit gloomy, Forman fills the book with quirky characters from the community. I especially enjoyed the Lumber jacks and the conversations that Aaron has with Chad, the old classmate in a wheelchair. This was good, but not great. I keep waiting for a Forman book that I enjoy as much as her earlier works like Just One Day and If I Stay and their sequels. We just aren't a match anymore. It's been fun, but I am moving on.

  29. 4 out of 5

    emma.bookss

    3.5 stars thank you to penguin teen for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for my review! i love how this book brings in the magic of books and is constantly talking about literature. i found that to be super special. i also loved aaron’s thoughts on “inevitability”. it was super intriguing to see his thoughts on it. the reason this book doesn’t have the highest rating is because i was just bored at a few parts. there were sections that dragged, but then there were other sections that mad 3.5 stars thank you to penguin teen for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for my review! i love how this book brings in the magic of books and is constantly talking about literature. i found that to be super special. i also loved aaron’s thoughts on “inevitability”. it was super intriguing to see his thoughts on it. the reason this book doesn’t have the highest rating is because i was just bored at a few parts. there were sections that dragged, but then there were other sections that made up for that. overall, i would recommend this book! it’s a book-lovers perfect book! the match is inevitable ;)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    70% through, and I couldn’t bear it anymore. I listened to this one and the narration was over-the-top irritating. And the main character seems to make one lame decision after another, while being awful to the people around him. Gayle Forman’s previous books (Leave Me or If I Stay) are much better bets.

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