Wednesday 7 March 2012

Guest Review: The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Shumacher 
Publisher: Delacorte 
Pages: 240
Reading Level: 12+
Format: ARC Kindle

A special Thank you to my new friend Catriona for reviewing this book for me.

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.


“Books can be very powerful. They bring a feeling of freedom, isn’t that right? You almost feel while you are reading…as if you have entered an alternate life. As if you could be an entirely different person.” 
This is the basis upon which the plot of this book is centred. Four girls, forced into a reading club by their mothers, come together and read various novels. The main character who is telling the story Adrienne, believes she is taking on the various traits and characteristics and storylines that the characters in the books she is reading have. If the book had been fully committed to this plotline then this would have made for some good reading. However I felt that this is what it was trying to allude to but kind of had a nod to this kind of storyline and let the rest of the book just carry on as normal around it. 
I would compare this book to the Carrie Diaries series by Candace Bushnell, centred around teenage girls in America, it had a sort of Judy Blume Feel with a smattering of Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar angst, but this didn’t really do it for me. Some of the things that the main character is coerced into doing by her friend CeeCee, had me laughing out loud, especially the scene where, predictably, she discovers drinking, but I found I couldn’t identify with the characters and thought the storyline was a little weak. I wanted to read to the end to find out how the story was resolved, however, and perhaps an audience of girls who are of a similar age to the characters in the book (14/15) would get more enjoyment out of reading about girls like themselves about to enter their junior year in high school.

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