Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares

Publisher: RandomHouse
Age: Young Adult- Adult
Species: Human
Rating: 4.5/5
Interest: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/Anne Brashares/ Lena/ Bridget/Tibby/Carmen

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. (Summary from goodreads.com)


What is there to say after four phenomenal books that encapsulated summers with friends, the magic of pants and an entire coming of age experience? As it turns out, there's still so much to learn about life choices, chances missed, secrets kept and fractured friendships. Sisterhood Everlasting made me feel so much that I can't process it all. It broke every single piece of my heart into the smallest grains possible and glued it all haphazardly together by the end.

I had the hardest time imagining Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen as 30 year olds.  It was similar to imagining a family member that you haven't seen since they were 5, as the 20 year old they've become. The sisterhood has been stuck at age 17 to 19 in my mind for so long, that imagining them any older was a chore. They either progressed to age 20 or 54 in my mind. I couldn't settle on a solid image in between. A big part of being unable to advance their ages in my brain, is the fact that the girls all sound the same. Bridget is still loud and impulsive, Carmen still doesn't feel her self worth, Lena is at least as or more reserved than usual. Tibby is as obscure and odd as ever. It feels like nothing has changed, but everything has.

In the beginning of the book, a huge thing happens. (Pardon my vagueness, but it really is better if you read it yourself.) This thing effects the entire rest of the book in miniscule and huge ways. I want so, so much to tell all of you about it, but it would absolutely ruin reading it for other people. I'm just going to stop talking about what happens, because I will end up spilling everything.

I was disappointed in the beginning with all of the girls. They'd let their friendship stretch out for so long, it was starting to show crater-sized cracks in the middle. I was so incredibly mad that they hadn't kept in touch like they promised. More than anyone else, I think, I was angry at Carmen and Lena. They'd settled for second rate versions of themselves. One confined her life to a box-like apartment and the other puffed herself up the hot air of the people around her. I had expected so much more from them.

Maybe that's where the central theme comes in handy. What I got from the book is "it's never too late to alter the way your life is going." All of the girls made serious changes to their lives once they found the courage to live it by themselves. Bee, Lenny, Carma and Tibbs were waiting on each other to begin their lives. Three of them would get married after the first one did. All four would come together after one reached out. They'd have their babies within the same month. Maybe they'd all die on the same day. The sisterhood used each other as an excuse to stop trying, stop really living when they weren't together. Tibby, strangest of all realized this first and fought to change it. The girl who hates progress trying to make everything different. I really applaud her for that and other actions during the book. Well, I actually really admire all of the girls for admitting they still had growing up to do, and then doing it. Somehow that makes them even more dear to me.

It's true that the sisterhood, through all its transformations, good and bad, will stay in my heart for the rest of my life. If there's one thing I'll say about this book, it's do not give up on it. No matter how sad or angry or regretful this book makes you feel, keep reading it. The book is beyond worth it, the sisterhood is beyond worth it. You owe it to yourself (if you happen to be a sisterhood fan) to read this book. Trust me.

So, here's one final toast to all of my girls. To Lena, who taught me to take chances, even when I was terrified of the aftermath. To Bridget, who taught me a little caution and forethought is never a bad thing to have. To Tibby who taught me a little change can be good, or at least a growing experience. Finally, to Carmen who taught me love accepts and forgives any mistakes or distances given time.

And lastly, to Bailey, now and forever.

Teaser Line: "You get older and you learn there is one sentence just four words long and if you can say it to yourself it offers more comfort than almost any other. It goes like this… Ready ”
“Ready.”
“At least I tried."

Series Order:
1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
2. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood
3. Girls in Pants
4. Forever in Blue
5. Sisterhood Everlasting

Happy Reading,

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