Monday, December 19, 2011

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Random House, 368 pages
ARC courtesy of Random Buzzers

"Return to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . ten years later. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting. Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one."

I first read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series when I was in middle school. I read them every summer (I wasn't as avid of a reader as I am now, so I read one during every summer of my tween years). I loved the characters and could relate to them, even though they were all so different, in a certain way. So, naturally, when I found out that this book was an Advanced Reader's Copy on one of our blog's favorite sites, Random Buzzers, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement! I didn't even know that Ann Brashares had written a fifth installment of the series. When it finally arrived (a pleasant surprise after a day long trip to Chicago), I was overjoyed to dive in again and see what my favorite fiction characters from childhood had been up to.

As for many other girls my age and older who read the series, this book was like taking a long and bittersweet stroll down memory lane (as corny as that sounds). As soon as I read the first page, I knew that there were probably going to be tears (hypothetical ones, at least), and there were. The journeys that the Sisterhood girls encounter in this book are so raw and real. I think that's why these books are so relatable. I see myself going through similar things as my life will evolve tremendously in the next few years. Beware that this book starts out with a major, shocking event that I can't even begin to explain. The book has a lot of twists and turns that both surprised, delighted, and made me grieve for the characters. I also, again, found things within each of their lives that I could relate to, even after the "ten years" that have passed.

If you have not read the first four of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series, I strongly recommend that you pick them up before reading this book. It will make everything so much easier to understand, and will also add a depth to the enjoyment of the book for you. If you read the books before, like I did, you don't really have to go back at all and read the other books. Once you start to get into the book, you will remember the key events and situations that happened in the previous books. I loved this book so much, especially because it made me remember the younger me (even though I'm only seventeen), and I felt like I was reading the letters of old friends that will live with me forever. In a way, books that you read when you are a little kid will always stay with you, but its nice when their stories evolve with you as time goes on.

This book was amazing and I will definitely read it again. But I caution those of you who haven't read the other books of the series. You should read the other books before buying it to better understand and enjoy it!

Rating: 5- I loved it! Buy a copy!

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