Reminiscent Reads is a feature that Cait at A Life Like Mine and I started recently to showcase the books we have read before starting our blogs. From time to time we will choose a few, good/bad, related/not, and do a mini-review explaining a little bit about the plot and our overall opinions.
Since someone was so kind enough to lend me Sisterhood Everlasting, the new book by one of my favourite authors, Ann Brashares, I think it is only fitting that I showcase one of my all-time favourite series' before I delve into what can only be a delight in book form! I present to you: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!
Also, since I will be talking about all the books in the series, this review could be a tad bit spoiler-y...
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
by ANN BRASHARES
by ANN BRASHARES
I remember absolutely loving this book. I read it so long ago, but I remember the feeling like it was yesterday: perfection. It was the perfect book for a girl my age and everything was just so right. Out of the four girls, there was always someone for any teenage girl to relate to, and all of the letters and escapades were so coming-of-age yet fun and light. This is was the first novel in a series that would change my life, and the lives of young girls everywhere, forever. The pants were so magical and symbolized something so much more than fitting into denim; fitting into life.
THE SECOND SUMMER OF THE SISTERHOOD by ANN BRASHARES
In the second installment in the series, we pick up right where we left off with Lena, Bridget, Tibby and Carmen. The girls continue on the journey with the pants, finding love in unexpected places, and learning about everything that they went through last summer. We see the girls grow, change and mature, which makes this book so much more than just the enjoyable, fun read that I saw it as when I read it so many years ago. This book is about love, loss, family, friends, life, and learning to get through. Truly amazing.
GIRLS IN PANTS by ANN BRASHARES
In the third book, we see the girls in the summer before college starts. This book really contributes to the versatility of the series, as we see the girls growing and learning their identities through all different experiences. We see that the girls are still connected, even though their experiences take them physically and mentally far from home. Lena is still experimenting with life and love, and learns volumes about family and loss. Tibby is also struggling with new romantic endeavors, and blame and depression from anxiety about her family and changes that she is going through. Bridget revisits issues from her past and learns more about herself and love. Carmen struggles with her family life and starting a new endeavor in college, and also about herself and her ability to love selflessly. This third touching book in the series sets us up beautifully to experience the last book, and left me wanting more and more of these wonderful girls and all of their stories.
FOREVER IN BLUE by ANN BRASHARES
Entering into the last book in the Sisterhood series, it was almost as if the magical pants themselves have gone unseen for a while, just becoming a metaphor and catalyst for all of the life altering experiences that we see our four favourite girls endure. The book brings us full circle, though, when we are brought back to the magic of the pants and everything they represent. I love how Brashares incorporated that special, magical feeling that we started off with right in the beginning. We see how the girls end up, and everything wraps up nicely, bittersweetly, and perfectly. Brashares writes beautifully and magically in this heartfelt ending to an iconic series.
3 WILLOWS by ANN BRASHARES
So this isn’t actually part of the original series, but is a continuation or sorts, with cameos from the original Traveling Pants girls. I really didn’t enjoy this book. I found that I was too mature too understand the struggles of the girls, and to relate to them. I also just felt myself longing for the original girls, which is a void that is not easily filled. Having said that, the key plot ideas and themes of this book were equally important as those in the original series, and I found that a new generation of young readers could benefit and love this continuation of a wonderfully epic series.
If you haven't read this series yet, or anything by Ann Brashares, I seriously urge you to, since her writing is beautiful and timeless. Her stand alone novel The Last Summer (Of Me & You) is also amazing, and I can't wait to read both Sisterhood Everlasting (seeing the original 4 girls as adults) and her newest novel Her Name Is Memory. There has also recently been cover-redesigns for the original series, which are gorgeous, and I might just do a Covergasms♥ post on them soon!
Reminiscing--Cheers & Enjoy♥