Book Review: Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

girls in pantsTitle: Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: YA fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Library copy
First line: If you are reading this, you may know about us.

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood is my favorite in this series so far. I read this installment, as this was the only one the library didn’t have on audio. As the four girls are growing up and starting to learn some of the lessons life has been throwing at them, I found less opportunities to get frustrated with them and their choices, and more opportunities to be proud for them and to cheer them on.

Spoiler alert: It is impossible to review this book without referring to events in the previous two, so keep that in mind if you haven’t read the series yet.

Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bee are getting ready to spend the last summer of their childhood. They have just graduated from high school and are all headed off to different colleges in the fall. They know their friendship will stand the separation, but everything seems to be changing.

Carmen is excited to head off to Williams College in Massachusetts. She’s ready to embark on this new life, knowing that her mother is happy and no longer lonely, now that she’s married David. But her mother has a secret, one that has Carmen questioning her decision to go away to college.

After spending part of the summer coaching kids at soccer camp, Bee will head off to play college soccer in Rhode Island. She’s in a good place now after the last summer spent with her grandmother, Greta, coming to terms with her mother’s history – and her own. But is she healthy enough to face Eric, the soccer coach from the first summer of the pants?

In September, Tibby will head to New York to study at film school. She’s the least ready for all the changes ahead, especially the changes that are happening in her relationship with Brian. Her fear keeps her from taking a step into her future.

Lena has found her joy in her art, and is excited to head to art school in Rhode Island. Her father, however, isn’t sure that art school is the place for a conservative young lady. Lena is determined to move ahead into her future, even though emotionally she hasn’t moved beyond her past with Kostos.

I love the way Brashares writes these girls – each one of them is so unique, with their own giftings and weaknesses. I love the realistic relationships between the girls and their parents, the way they struggle to find common ground. I love the secondary characters: Brian, Effie, Valia, Eric, Win, Paul. But most of all, I love the love the girls have for each other. I had two wonderful friends through high school and college, but we never seemed to find the way to care for each other in as real a way as the Pants girls do.

Book four in the series is Forever in Blue. I’ve just placed the audiobook on hold at the library, and as soon as it comes, I’ll take a break from The Fiery Cross and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell so that I can listen to the final episode in these girls’ lives.

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12 Responses to Book Review: Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

  1. Kim
    Twitter: BookstoreK

    I told my daughter she couldn’t read these books until she was in sixth grade. I don’t know why I picked that date, I think she asked to read them when she was too young and I remembered seeing a girl in my son’s sixth grade class reading one so I picked that age. Well, guess what she wanted the minute the last bell of fifth grade rung. Good grief.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Looking for Books on the Big Island =-.

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    What age do you think is appropriate for reading this series? Emma loved the two movies associated with the books, which I thought were right on the edge of being appropriate for her at this age. What do you think?
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Night of Flames – Douglas W. Jacobson =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Sandy – I can’t remember how old Emma is. Natalie (almost 13) did read the first one. As the girls get older in each book, the dating and sexuality issues mature, too – so i would keep that in mind.

  3. JoAnn
    Twitter: lakesidemusing

    My daughters all loved these, too, but I’ve only seen the movie 🙁
    .-= JoAnn´s last blog ..BTT: Recent Informative =-.

  4. Kathy says:

    I read the first book in this series and thought it was okay, but never continued with it. From the looks of this review, I need to remedy that!
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review and Giveaway: Stray Affections =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I definitely liked this one best, but I also loved number one, so they may not get better for you.

  5. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna

    I enjoyed these books as well. I think it portrays friendships very well. The girls sometimes annoy me, but they’re really realistic. Nice review!
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..BBAW: My Posts =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Swapna – I agree – very realistic characters! I wish I had had friends like that in high school.

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