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Review - The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

Monday, June 4, 2012
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher

Publication: May 8, 2012
Pages: 240
Author: Website | Facebook
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

I'm Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn't want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee's parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of "The Unbearable Book Club," CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren't friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I'll turn in when I go back to school.

I was excited to read this book because of the topic: a book club. The four girls brought together by the club belong to different social groups and bring their unique perspectives to the club. I thought that interacting with each other would teach the girls something and bring to light some universal idea. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing really happens. Even the chapter titled “climax” turns out to be another record of what happens during the summer of the book club.

While Adrienne writes about each of the girls in the club and even participates in investigations into the girls’ lives, I never really felt like I got to know any of the girls. Adrienne confesses early on that she doesn’t know who she is, and she tries to investigate her past; however, she never clarifies if she figures out the truth. Her relationship with the other girls is the same. She talks to them, but everything feels staged and unreal. The characters’ motivations aren’t clearly defined.

Much of the book is spent with Adrienne reading the books and discussing what’s happening in the novel before finally mulling over them. I’ve read some of the books, and I don’t want to read a novel discussing the books read in the book club. Outside of books and the clubs, it feels as though the other girls, especially CeeCee, drag Adrienne around. Her only heroic moment is when she spends nine minutes trying to revive a drowning “victim.”

While teenagers go through times when they don’t know who they are, I want to read a book with a plot—where the characters go through change. The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls is a summer read that I won’t be recommending.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
5 comments on "Review - The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls"
  1. I actually really liked the part where they talked about the books; at least it was better than spending time with the characters who were pretty uniformly unbearable.

  2. Aww darn this sounded good! But I'm a big character reader so I doubt I'll enjoy it much more than you did. Oh wells. Great review :)

  3. That's too bad but I really appreciate the honest review!!! The cover and premise makes this book seem like a great summer read but the characters seem a bit awkward. Thanks for the honest review :)

    Following your blog!

  4. i love the title and the plot

  5. The cover and premise were attracting, but the characters didn't live up to my expectations.


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