TUBC4UG for short
By: Julie Schumacher
Genre: YA Contemporary
Coffee Beans: 4.5/5
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
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.
My Review: 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?). 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).
Schumacher 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 the summer ended was natural. The character 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. Which happened a few times during the story.
Did I mention I really love CeeCee? Cuz if I didn't, I do.
There were good descriptions throughout the entire book. Funny lines all over the place. Fast-moving plot. Loved, loved, loved this book. Some great line examples:
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. 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, tol 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.
What's my usual disclaimer? That's right! Pick it up and read it for yourself. :)
Happy reading, my friends!