Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
By Julie Schumacher
Publication date: May 8, 2012

My review:

Adrienne had planned to go on a camping trip with her best friend over the summer but due to an unfortunate stumble on the bleachers, she hurt her leg and is stuck at home. Then her mom and the mothers of three other girls in her English class decide to have a mother-daughter book club to discuss the books on the class reading list. Against their will, Adrienne, CeeCee, Jill, and Wallis are forced to participate. As they read The Yellow Wallpaper, Frankenstein, The Left Hand of Darkness, The House on Mango Street, and The Awakening, they also come to understand more about themselves. 

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls should have been a book I loved. I love reading and discussing books and I'm even a member of two book discussion groups. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed learning more about the books they discussed (I've only read Frankenstein and The Awakening), I did not care for CeeCee and I wasn't a fan of the main character Adrienne. This really diminished my reading enjoyment. I also felt that Wallis and Jill were underdeveloped. Wallis especially looked like a promising character so I was disappointed that we didn't get to know her better. 

It is hard to enjoy a book when the main character is annoying. At one point in the story, Adrienne's mother tells her that she is "impressionable". Adrienne is upset by this but it is very true. Throughout the story Adrienne wonders how other people see her and what kind of character she'd be in a book. Her "friendship" with CeeCee is a bad one with CeeCee obviously taking her on as some kind of pet. Adrienne makes really stupid choices when she is hanging out with CeeCee and she doesn't have a backbone. If she had truly changed over the course of the book, then it would have been forgivable but in the end though she realizes some truths about herself and CeeCee, not enough change happens to justify her stupid behavior. 

I think the idea of this book is clever (it is presented as Adrienne's essay assignment) and I did like the literary references. The novels read by the book club help to illustrate points in the story and I thought that was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the writing style. Where this book fails is in the characters, namely Adrienne. Overall, this is a somewhat entertaining book  but it didn't live up to my expectations.

Note: I received an e-ARC for review from NetGalley


  1. O yah I can relate. Sounds like she would bug me too. I wonder if she will bug impressionable girls less.

  2. Yep-totally accurate in my opinion! I loved the idea for this book so so much-book club, summer, girls! But the execution of the characters made it so hard to enjoy. I kind of wonder what the book would have been like if narrated from Jill's POV-she seemed sensible at least (that way Wallis could have still been mysterious).


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