Title: Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: YA fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the library
Audiobook reader: Angela Geothals
First line: Once upon a time there were four girls.
Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood is the last book in Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I was glad to find out how the girls’ stories ended, but this was probably my least favorite of the series. I still liked it (thus, the three stars), but it wasn’t as good as the others, especially number 3, which was my favorite.
This fourth summer of the pants is the summer after the girls’ freshman year in college, the summer after their first year of being apart since they were babies. Bridget is attending college on a soccer scholarship, and is maintaining a long-distance relationship with Eric. When Eric decides to spend his summer coaching at a soccer camp clear across the country, Bee decides to head to Turkey on an archaeological dig. While on the dig, Bridget finds herself attracted to an older – and married – professor.
Lena is attending art school, and taking a summer course in painting figures. She meets Leo, a fellow art student, and her attraction to him helps her to complete the task of forgetting Costos. And just when she’s finally over him, Costos shows up with some unsettling news.
Tibby is taking a screenwriting course at NYU during the summer. She’s happy with Brian, who is planning to transfer to a New York university next year in order to be closer to her. Everything seems to be perfect, until Tibby and Brian make love for the first time – and the condom breaks. Is Tibby pregnant? How will this change her relationship with Brian – and her future?
Carmen has had the hardest time during the Septembers’ year apart. She has lost sight of who she is. The only person who has befriended her is Julia, a theater student. Julia talks Carmen into coming to a summer theater program in Vermont, in order to work as a set builder. Carmen’s natural dramatic flair shines through, however, and she inadvertently auditions for the production of A Winter’s Tale on the main stage. Will being in front of an audience help Carmen regain her confidence?
I had the hardest time with Carmen’s storyline. I love Carmen’s fire and passion and temper, the fact that she’s comfortable in her identity. It seemed completely out of character to see Carmen in a friendship where she is being walked on – and she not only allows it, but doesn’t see it.
The girls stories each wrapped up nicely, but in a realistic way. Not all of them ended up in a fairytale romance. Life wasn’t all tied up in a neat bow – because that’s not how life is. Even though this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, I would love to see Ms. Brashares’ revisit these characters several years later in life.