Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: YA fiction
Publisher: Random House
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the library
First line: Once upon a time there was a pair of pants.
Coming late to the YA-love party means that I have a lot of wonderful books and series to catch up on. I have somehow managed to not read – or watch the film version of – Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My daughter read it this year, though, and loved it, so I decided to listen to the audiobook to see what all the fuss is about. Turns out the fuss is well-deserved.
Carmen, Bridget (Bee), Tibby, and Lena are getting ready to spend their first summer apart since they have known each other, which is pretty much since birth. Carmen will spend the summer with her father, Lena is heading to Greece to stay with her grandparents, Tibby will stay home and work at Walman’s, and Bee is heading to California for soccer camp. Before the girls part, though, Carmen buys a pair of jeans at a thrift shop, and they magically fit each girl, in spite of their different shapes and sizes. The jeans look amazing on each of them, and so they decide the pants should travel between them throughout the summer.
As the pants travel, so does the book, and we get to experience the summer through each girl’s eyes. Carmen arrives at her father’s to discover him living with a fiance and her two teenage children – a whole other family. Shy Lena gets involved in a multi-cultural misunderstanding. Bee falls in love with an older coach and discovers that not every impulse should be rushed into headlong. And Tibby learns that life is fragile and that people are much deeper than first impressions go.
I loved this book! The reader was perfect, and Ann Brashares has created four wonderfully real teenaged girls, each with her own quirks and strengths and weaknesses. Over the course of the summer, they each learn an important lesson about life – but this isn’t a preachy book, as each story simply unfolds naturally. I can’t wait to find out what happens in The Second Summer of the Sisterhood.