Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 8, 2012)
240 pages
ISBN: 0385737734
Ages 12 and up 

Their mothers meet in a yoga class and start a mother-daughter book club, throwing together four teens who, were there anyone else still in town, would never dream of spending summer evenings together.  Julie Schumacher's The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls brings together Adrienne, a bookworm; CeeCee, one of the high school's royalty; Jill, whose main concern is her SAT scores; and Wallis, a brilliant outcast.  All four spend their summer hanging out at the pool and reading books for their upcoming AP English class and working on the class's required literary essay.

A friend of mine reviewed this book on Goodreads, and, though she gave it only two stars, I wanted to read it to find out what books the book club had chosen.  (Nothing I like better than a good book list.)  The unsinkable girls read the following:
  1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin,
  2. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros,
  3. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
  4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, and
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Actually, I did kind of enjoy the book.  Schumacher uses literary devices to structure the book.  Each chapter begins with Adrienne's definition of a literary device, and then the chapter explores that device in terms of their story.  Chapter One's device is setting, and we find the girls in their setting:  the city pool.  The girls do more than read, getting up to some typical teenage behavior:  rebellious running around, drinking, and cliquish exclusion, with some atypical tragedy thrown in.

To buy from Amazon, click on titles below:
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
The Awakening
The House on Mango Street
The Yellow Wallpaper
The Left Hand of Darkness
Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus


  1. I just didn't get into the characters. I did like the chapter set-ups though. Have you read all the books the girls had to read? I've only read Frankenstein. -T

    1. I know what you mean about the characters. In particular, I would love to have seen Wallis's situation explored a bit more. I have read all of the books except The Left Hand of Darkness. Not into science fiction, so I probably won't read that one. I am going to reread The House on Mango Street.