The Mother-Daughter Book Club - Heather Vogel Frederick

This was selected for my real-life mother-daughter book club.  I really like the mother-daughter combo who picked this book, but I was still dreading it mightily.  I'm afraid it was about what I expected and, quite honestly, maybe even a little worse. 


The premise is that four mother-daughter pairs start a book club - the first selection is Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.  I have my issues with that book, but I still think it's a solid classic worth sharing and discussing with young readers so I tried to get on board.


But, oh dear, there just isn't much here to satisfy an adult reader.  I try to remind myself that book club isn't always about reading great books (although we have read so many great ones over the years - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Wee Free Men, etc.)  The real point is to come together and discuss books in a meaningful way and I can tell there will be a lot to discuss here, plus I do think most of the girls are really going to like this book.


Unfortunately, the book club is really just a plot device to tell a run-of-the-mill story about middle school angst.  I didn't really find any of the characters to be at all realistic or relatable and no one in the book really behaves in a way that is believable or authentic. 


I also just got kind of an icky vibe while reading the book.  For example, there is this running gag about one particular character's fat ass - presented as acceptable because the character being fat shamed is an extremely odious individual.  I was also super annoyed by some really dated and negative stereotypes about feminists and vegans.  Really?  What decade is this? 


I think the worst thing for me is that the link to Little Women was pretty tenuous. I don't feel it was incorporated in a meaningful way at all.  I think at first that made me angrier than I really should have been.  I was looking for this book to offer up some insights into literature and life when really it's just a shallow, forgettable kind of book.