Book Review: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

secondTitle: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: YA fiction
Publisher: Dell Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the library
First line: Once there were four girls who shared a pair of pants.

Ann Brashare’s The Second Summer of the Sisterhood brings back Tibby, Bridget, Carmen, and Lena, the four best friends who discovered a magical pair of pants. This second summer finds Bridget, Lena, and Carmen looking forward to a summer together, while Tibby is off to film school summer camp. Then Bridget finds letters from her grandmother that her father had hidden from her, and she decides to head to Alabama to visit her.

Carmen is anticipating a summer of babysitting and her first real date. Her world is turned upside-down, though, when the evening of her first date finds her mother also out on a date. Carmen knows that her reaction is irrational, but that doesn’t stop her from sabotaging her mother’s new relationship.

She’s not the only one having mother – and boy – problems. Lena is still missing Costas like crazy. She thought that breaking up with him would solve the long-distance yearning problem, but it didn’t. Then an inadvertent comment by Carmen’s mother alerts Lena to the fact that her mother has a lot of experience with long-distance relationships, experience that Lena never knew she had.

Tibby is working on her film for summer camp and trying to be part of the artsy, cynical crowd – and hurting her mother and Brian in the process. In Alabama, Bridget meets her grandmother and learns some things about her mother – and herself.

There were moments in this book when I was so frustrated with each girl that I wanted to shake her and say, “What in the heck is wrong with you? Why are you doing that?” I listened as a mom, and so the mother-daughter issues hit me much differently than they would have if I had listened to this when I was a teenage girl. Brashares captures the angst that is the mother-daughter relationship and the teenage years of womanhood.

In spite of my moments of frustration with their choices, I love each one of these characters, and was so involved emotionally in their stories that at one point I literally gasped aloud at a revelation that I knew would be devastating to Lena. If you haven’t read these books yet, and you like YA fiction, then get thee to the library or bookstore.

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14 Responses to Book Review: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    We haven’t read the books, but my daughter loves the movies.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Point Surrender – Anne Carter (Kindle) =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – you would like the audios, but they’re definitely YA for older teenage girls, so probably not okay for the kiddos.

  2. Karen says:

    Interesting…. I had a lot of issues with the book because of the choices the girls were making. I know some was my “momness,” as you related, as well. But I couldn’t even relate on a teen level; I just never experienced stuff like that. And I sure as heck never thought of breaking the “rules.” These stories read like science fiction for me…. I can’t relate too well at all. But I did want to know what happened to each one; I was always hoping someone would make some good choices somewhere along the line.

    It’s been a long while since I read them. I’m not sure I’ll send them Halle’s way.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..To bring you up to date… =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Karen – I agree, it’s definitely not for tweens or younger teens. I think the author did a good job of showing the consequences of the girls’ sexual choices, though, unlike some YA novels where sex is just “part of being a teen.” In book 1, Bridget had sex the trainer, Eric, and it was just a casual thing for him, and she ended up devastated. In book 2, Lena almost had sex with Costas, and then their relationship fell apart. I appreciate the fact that the author, through her characters, doesn’t make light of those kinds of choices.

  3. Kathy says:

    I think those moments when you want to shake the girls is when you realize how real the characters are. Great review.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: Burnt Shadows =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – exactly! She writes characters so well, you feel like you truly know them.

  4. stacybuckeye says:

    I only saw the first movie, but would love to catch up with the girls. Looks like a fun read.
    .-= stacybuckeye´s last blog ..A Prison Diary, by Jeffrey Archer =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Stacy – I haven’t read anything about the movies, so I don’t know how closely they follow the books. I’m definitely going to watch them and find out, though!

  5. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna
    says:

    I got frustrated with each of these characters as well (especially Carmen) but still enjoyed the book. Nice review!
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Rocket Men – Craig Nelson =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Swapna – Carmen was the character that most frustrated me, too – I really empathized with her mom, being single and raising her on her own, and thought she deserved some happiness.

  6. I probably won’t read these books, but I have been having a hankering to watch the movies. They sound fun. I am glad you enjoyed the book, Carrie!
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Interview with Author Lisa Tucker, The Promised World =-.

  7. Andreea says:

    I’ve seen the movies, but I must admit that I didn’t like them as much as I thought I would.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Andreea – that’s what my daughter said – she thought the first movie was just okay.