The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-31 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 62 user ratings

"I spent most of the book thinking I would rate it a 3-star read, but as I got further into it, it grew on me and I finished up rating it 4 stars. I'm not particularly into YA books, but this one was clever and I really liked the format. The story is about a group of 4 girls whose moms decide to form a book club to get their daughters doing something useful during the summer, plus providing some supposed quality mother-daughter time. Unfortunately the girls are less-than-enthusiastic, although they do actually do what their moms want and read the books. They choose 4 books to read, and I would have liked this story much better if I had read any of the books involved because they were quite important to the story. As a matter of fact, the only book mentioned that I had read was A Wrinkle in Time and the reference to Aunt Beast. This book was set up in parts, with each chapter beginning with a literary definition (like hyperbole or plot or stream of consciousness), then the chapter's content built around that theme. In addition, each section of the book referenced the book they were reading for their club. And each section (and their discussions) centered around the lives of the girls and their actions and thoughts and how they compared to the characters in the book club books. There were a lot of amusing comments, particularly by Adrienne who is the main character. She has a mildly sarcastic way of looking at things, while being self-deprecating at the same time. Actually, some of the comments seemed more adult-like than young adult, but maybe that's just me and kids really are that clever. All the girls become unlikely friends because of their shared requirement to be part of the club. It was hilarious that the girls kept referring to the book club by many different unappealing names, such as the Unbearable Book Club for Irresponsible Girls or The Society of Feminine and Literary Despair or Involuntary Book Club for Intolerable Girls. Part of the significance of the group's different names are the difficulties that the girls get into during their boring summer, getting into trouble as they try new things, seemingly because of their bad influence on each other but also just because they're at a vulnerable stage of their lives. Adrienne is the daughter of a single mom and she is trying to find her way after being injured and having to drop out of a camping trip she had planned and saved for, CeeCee is the poor little rich girl who is totally irreverent, Jill is the high achiever who is stronger than her mother and takes care of her in some ways, while Wallis is the highly intelligent misfit. Interesting personalities and fascinating to see their interactions,

Favorite comment about Adrienne's crazy thoughts, "Where did that come from? Nowhere, I said, Or maybe from the backseat of my brain."

Quote about the book club, "I hadn't wanted to be a member of a book club. I hadn't wanted to meet once a week and discuss the books on our list--but now that I had they were taking up space inside me; they had staked out parcels of land in my brain."

Adrienne decides to dye her hair because, " make me feel more confident and less like a blank; closer to edgy and further from bland." When she was done she looked in the mirror: "Maybe it fades," I informed the mirror. The mirror suggested I immediately get into the shower and wash my hair several times.

And CeeCee tells us, "The problem with they kiss too forcefully. It's like they want to show you their lips have been pumping iron." And Jill and Adrienne have a conversation where they pretend to use an 8-ball to read the answers but really substitute things like, Maybe Adrienne has heard something about the thing that's missing but doesn't want to admit it. Very funny scene.
" said.

"TUBC4UG, for short
By: Julie Schumacher
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pub Date: May 8, 2012
Rating: PG
Coffee Beans: 4.5/5
Spoilers: Nope
Favorite Line: Oh, so many. See the section below. :)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review

Publisher's Summary:
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 held off doing this BR for a few reasons. One, I read this book pretty fast and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to let it sink in. Two, I was busy (any surprise?). And three, I wasn't sure if I was going to use this BR in a new project that's *hopefully* going to start in May (more details to come as they become available. But let me just say, I'm uber excited!).
So, without further ado, let's begin.
This book was a fun, fast read. Very entertaining and engaging. Very funny. The voice of our MC, Adrienne (I can't help but channel Rocky Balboa's voice every time I say her name, so, from now on, I'll refer to her as A like CeeCee does in the book), is sarcastic and witty.
The main thing I want to know is this, how the heck do I become friends with CeeCee? This character is G.R.E.A.T. Not even kidding. She's the "queen bee" from school and has decided to honor A with her friendship, even though A doesn't want it. Her personality is entitled, snooty, snarky, funny, and stuck-up without being a putt-off (hence my friendship request).
Julie did such a fun and wonderful job making each of the four girls real and complex and deep. Their interaction together over the summer because of the book club is 100% what I remember from my high school days. Even the way they disbanded when it was over natural.
Wallis is a bit of a creepy yet ambiguous character. I never quite got the feel for her, I thought one thing, but then that never played through. That happened a few times during the story.

Did I mention I really love CeeCee? Cuz if I didn't, I do.
Good descriptions. Funny lines all over the place. Fast-moving plot. Loved, loved, loved this book.
Great lines:
When I turned toward her she smiled a closed-lipped smile, making me think of an alligator sunning itself on a riverbank. (ebook pg 11)
If a bear could be trained to talk, I thought, it would sound like Wallis (ebook pg 42)
My mouth was a saliva-filled marsh, boggy with pockets of vomit and gin (ebook pg 123)
Listening to the noise of the pool in the background—the shouting, the whistling, the general commotion—I thought, I am a lonely person. That's why I read books. (ebook pg 189)
A is a great example of strong female character without being strong in the stereotypical sense. Even though she doesn't know who she is and she's experimenting, deep down she's consistent and the same reliable, unbending (constant) person.
One thing I was unsatisfied with, though, was the fact that Willis kind of felt like a throw away character to me. I mean, I know the mystery of her character was there to push A into discovering deep down who she was, but I also wanted to know about Willis, and we never got that far. I felt a bit cheated, I'll be honest. We were never given a picture at the end of the book about what actually was going on with Wallis, which, I guess, is okay, but really, I'm not okay with it.
Okay! What's my usual disclaimer? That's right! Pick it up and read it for yourself. :)
Happy reading, my friends!

" said.

"3.5 stars

Originally posted here

I was VERY excited to read this book. I love book clubs and books about book clubs and that was enough to get me psyched about The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls. And I did enjoy reading it, not just because I loved the literary references and banter between the four very different girls who are (well, three of them are) forced by their parents to be a part of a mother-daughter book club, but also because it was very different from what I expected!

The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls is in the form of Adrienne's summer essay to her teacher. Every chapter starts out with her definition of one of the several things a story consists of- the protagonist, antagonist, dialogue (why isn't it called a trialogue when it's a conversation between three people?, Adrienne asks), metaphors, the climax and so on, and the chapter that follows relates to the theme. I enjoyed reading Adrienne's thoughts about what a story contains and so I really enjoyed the structure of this book.

Adrienne herself was an amazing narrator! Adrienne is pushed by popular-girl-who-messes-with-people's heads, CeeCee (you know the type) into questioning who she really is, what she's all about as well as the absence of her father and her relationship with her mother. All these issues were dealt with a little erratically, but believably. Adrienne was someone I could connect with from the beginning. Her love for books is described so well in several places and yet, she's not someone who is opinionated. She loses herself in a book and at the end of it, all she can say is, I liked it. I could relate to that. It was one of the reasons why I started this book blog.

The relationship between Adrienne and her mother was also very realistic. I loved the mother-daughter element of this book. The mothers weren't just relegated to the background like they usually are in YA; their presence was felt throughout. The relationship between the girls was also very realistic. Adrienne, Jill, CeeCee and Wallis were the four girls in the book club and they couldn't be more different. Arienne was, in her words, a question mark, Jill was an over achiever, CeeCee was popular and Wallis was a mystery. It was refreshing how all of them recognised how different they were and none of them expected to bond and become insta BFFs (and they weren't just telling themselves that, they accepted it from the beginning).

Naturally, as a result of being practically the only people left behind in Delaware for the summer, the four girls had to spend a lot of time together. They talked and they learned unexpected things about each other. CeeCee surprised me, there was more to Jill and we were tortuously kept in the dark about Wallis's family life. But that didn't make them any less different at the end of the summer and the book club remained their only common ground. They will probably go back to their different groups at the beginning of the school year but maybe their experiences in the summer did change them a bit and helped them do things they usually wouldn't have done.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It was the perfect summer read that made me think, laugh and kept me constantly entertained! I liked reading about the books that were read in the book club and how Adrienne said that in a way, those books shaped her summer and made her who she was. In many ways, while Adrienne narrated the story, it was like CeeCee practically engineered most parts of it. I was amused yet at the same time disturbed by her happy-go-lucky way of creating drama and towards the end, things were revealed about her that maybe explained why she was the way she was.

Adrienne will probably get an A for her essay (and she deserves it!) but sadly, I couldn't give this book five or even four stars. I really wish I could because for the most part, I loved this book but towards the end, there is a death, there are parts that were built up that lead nowhere (which I guess, should've felt fun and realistic) and sadly, at that point, the book lost its steam for me. The ending wasn't rushed or anything but I really stopped feeling it in the last thirty or so pages. Maybe I got too attached to the characters and the paths they took were logical but way too normal and realistic for me.

But despite that, you should give this book a shot! It's snarky and fun, it's realistic yet such a summer read and it's about a mother-daughter book club! I'm glad I read this book, despite not liking it that much towards the end.
" said.

" Melancholic. Good but somehow a moody book. " said.

" This was quite a little adventure. I liked the little discussions on books and the headings of each chapter explaining literary terms. Clever story, although not that satisfying. " said.

" The teenage girl characters are funny, cruel, smart and naive. There's nothing sweet about this small-town gritty summer story, but plenty to enjoy. The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls is a good choice for teens, mothers of teens, or book club members. " said.

" Descent story, just a little too for teens/young adult readers! " said.

" charming and funny-a collection of types, the overachieving adopted from Asia girl, the mean rich girl, the follower with no self confidence and the mysterious and weird genius read the classics, with their mothers Read this one on the plane. Toward the end of the flight the teen boy sitting next to me asked me what I was reading, he'd been reading over my shoulder and liked it. " said.

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