Monday, May 7, 2012

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
3/5 stars
Random House Children's Books, 2012
230 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's a bit unfortunate that "unbearable" is in the title of this book as that largely describes my feelings about the characters presented in this book.We have four high schoolers who for one reason or another are stuck in their small town for the summer with mothers who think it is a great idea for them to gather for a book club.

Those book clubs were very interesting especially when they actually discussed the work such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," both of which I have read and enjoyed. I was not familiar with the other titles but they were intriguingly presented and I am interested in checking them out at a later date. I also liked the framing device of defining various literary terms such as "simile" at the beginning of each chapter since the book is presented as a school assigment.

However the book club is not the only thing going on in the book. Narrator Adrienne has a knee injury that kept her from going on a camping trip. CeeCee is a spoiled rich girl, eager for thrills whose parents have grounded her from a Paris trip. Jill is an overachiever who managed to secure a summer job and Wallis is the mysterious precocious youngster who skipped a grade (or two) and clawed her way into the group despite the absence of her mother. I never felt a connection to any of them and at times actively disliked them and their choices (in particular CeeCee's bad girl ways and Adrienne's attraction to them).

Overall: Due to my inability to connect with the characters but enjoyment of the writing, this was a wash for me. If you do give this a try, I hope it all works better for you.

Cover: Promises a fun summer read; the setting is around a pool but I didn't feel the fun.


  1. The characters sound awful but then the literary devices part and the fact that they discussed The Yellow Wallpaper, kind of makes me want to read this book.
    Great review.
    - O.ops I Read That Book!

  2. I think this book had so much potential. Really Adrienne kind of ruined it for me. It was okay for there to be one character I hated (especially if Adrienne learned a lesson from that toxic "friendship") but when the main character is so annoying...

    I do wish we'd gotten to know Wallis and Jill better at least. I think that so much time is devoted to Adrienne and CeeCee that the rest is not as developed. I think I'll have to go back and read The Jane Austen Bookclub instead :) Your review is spot-on with how I felt about the book. The cover is lovely but the book itself is disappointing.

  3. I really hate when I don't connect with a character. Though the literary devises and book club theme so intrigues me.


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