The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacker
Published by Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Random House and NetGalley
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. (from Goodreads)
The title alone made me what to read this book. Not even knowing more than what the title revealed, I just knew that I had to read this book. I'm in a book club, which I love, and figured that reading about a book club would probably be a lot of fun too. And it most surely was. The Unbearable Book Club is more that just a light summer read - there were elements of mystery and suspense (and lots of secrets), there is relationship development (between mothers and daughters and forced friendships), and it shows how the books you read can and do affect you.
My favorite parts of the book:
The literary terms - At the beginning of each chapter Adrienne defines a literary term that will in some way allude to what happens in her storytelling.
The many references to a variety of books - This is a book about reading a lot of other books that makes me what to read a lot of the books mentioned in this book. (I wanted to see how many books I could fit in that sentence) Just to name a few: The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (another book about reading books), Frankenstein (I have read this one), The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. And all of the books mentioned are connected or contribute to the story this is told.
The relationship between Adrienne and her mother - One of the main reasons that Adrienne's mom wanted to start the mother/daughter book club was so they could grow closer and have a stronger connection. What happened instead isn't exactly that and by inviting new people into her daughter's life, more like forcing new people into her life, Adrienne goes beyond herself, changing and becoming even more distant from her mother. But there is always something that keeps them connected - the need for a connection.
After reading this book, it made me think of different reasons why people join a book club. Is it simply to discuss the books that are read, for a sense of community and common interests, or do people join book clubs like CeeCee says - to share each others secrets? Also, I started to think about why we select the books that we do for our book clubs. Of course these answers will very from book club to book club and from reader to reader.
I've already recommended this book to my book club and would recommend it to other book clubs, not just mother-daughter book clubs, and to anyone who likes to read books about reading books.
Disclaimer: I requested and received the book for review from NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing a review.