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The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable…

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

by Julie Schumacher

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Recensione anche su: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-3b
Review also on: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-3b ( )
  Saretta.L | Oct 24, 2013 |
Schumacher has written a deeply thoughtful and realistic, yet quirky, novel about the summer that a socially awkward teen spends separated from her only friend. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 24, 2013 |
Quick read. I wish more questions about Wallis had been answered. ( )
  socango | Apr 2, 2013 |
The opening chapters of this book really appealed to me, and, though I enjoyed the book as a whole, it definitely flagged as the book progressed. This is probably the least effectual book club ever that actually manages to meet up (my friends and I haven't even managed that yet...wah wah). Even so, every mention of a book club makes me desperately want to discuss literature in person. I loved the sections where they actually discussed the books, but these were unfortunately brief.

The main issue this book had was the plotting. The ending was pretty obvious from the opening. In an attempt to create suspense, and to have a dramatic opening to the story, the ending is spoiled. Well, it might surprise some, but I definitely saw it coming. I just found it hard to care about most of the lead up.

The characters also had some serious issues. The only one who felt full-fleshed was Adrienne, the main character, but I'll discuss her more momentarily. Cee-Cee never really comes off as anything more than a bored popular girl, messing with people for her own amusement. Jill, who I actually like most perhaps, never really gets any focus and is dismissed as boring. Wallis is WEIRD. I kept expecting to learn what her deal was, and, in fact, I'm pretty sure I KNOW what was up with her and her mom, but we're never actually told. In fact, what's so weird about all of this is that none of the characters ever stop being their stereotype. At the end of the summer, they're all still the same people they were, even, perhaps, Adrienne.

The book's saving grace, besides the literary references, was Adrienne's character. Adrienne has her flaws, a boatload of them. However, she did feel real to me, largely because a lot of her thoughts are totally on my wavelength. For example, she often thinks like this:

"Teachers often referred to me as a student with 'a lot of potential.' This meant they expected me to be smart; but in fact my mind was often packing a mental suitcase and wandering off on its own. I sometimes pictured all the things I had learned during the previous week at school jumping into brightly painted railroad cars and disappearing into the distance on a speeding train." (6)

I always personify things, and laughed to see someone else having the same thoughts about the elusiveness of all the knowledge entering the brain. She also struggles with identity. She feels as though she has no discernible personality and that no one would even care if she died. I definitely felt that way too, so I could identify with that. Her responses to this feeling, which mostly involved doing really stupid things for Cee-Cees benefit, I didn't approve of, but did seem rather possible. People will do any number of idiotic things for attention in hopes of being liked.

The other part that I really enjoyed was whenever Adrienne was reading. I wish I could read like this girl, although I certainly would not be able to read anywhere near the volume of books I currently read. She seems to be pushing it to get through two books a month. However, when she reads, she really gets into the story. She dreams the story. She gets so deep down into it that she cannot hear people talking to her. I so wish I had that focus. It was amazing how you could feel her slipping into another world. That part was awesome writing.

All told, this was a really great idea, and I feel like it could have been a fantastic book. I feel like with a bit more work, like more details on Wallis' situation and Adrienne's dad, along with more book talk, this could have been a darker, young adult version of The Jane Austen Book Club. As it is, it's a pleasant enough read, but just does not quite make it. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
3.5 stars

I'm really into realistic YA fiction this year! It's not a genre I used to read in all that often but I'm really liking what I've discovered so far. My tastes tend to run the opposite way to a lot of peoples- what other people find silly/boring/underdeveloped, I find fun, light and entertaining. I was hoping The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls would be one of those light and cute books (the cover certainly suggests it!) and I think it did deliver.

I really, really liked this book at the beginning! I absolutely adored Adrienne's voice and I thought she was incredibly easy to like. She doesn't really take anything too seriously and her insights on the world around her were really fun to see. She can be quite sarcastic and witty at times which made the book really fun. I liked CeeCee a lot too, even if it was hard to figure her out most of the time. She's more rebellious than Adrienne and starts to drag Adrienne down that path with her. There are a good few things in this book that are not so fun and it does handle darker topics.

This book is based around a book club that their mothers set up for them during the summer. CeeCee, Adrienne and Jill are being forced into it by their parents but Wallis, who the girls see as a bit odd, decides to join of her own accord. I loved the book aspect of the book! I thought it was really fun to see books I've read being listed and talked about, and it also gave me ideas of other books I'd like to read! I enjoyed seeing their on books such as Frankenstein and The Yellow Wallpaper.

There are little definitions at the beginning of each chapter and while a few of them were funny, I wasn't entertained by most of them and found them a bit annoying. They were a nice idea but not all of them were fun. There also isn't a whole lot of action in this book so I think that may be off-putting for some readers. I thought it was quite a laid back book but interesting themes running through it. I'm certainly glad I read it and would recommend it to fans of contemporary YA fiction! ( )
  nicola26 | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385737734, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When four very different small-town Delaware high school girls are forced to join a mother-daughter book club over summer vacation, they end up learning about more than just the books they read.

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