The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by Ann Brashares
Series: Sisterhood #1
Published by Delacorte Press
Publish Date: September 11, 2001
Source: Book – Bought, Audiobook – Library
Find it here: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.
My Thoughts: I’m not sure what made me pull this book off of my shelf and decide to read it/listen to it. Probably because of the #serieschallenge (see my sidebar for more information or click HERE). I know there is a movie that goes along with this book but of course, I’m the last person in the world that hasn’t seen it just as I’m the last person that hasn’t read these books. No better time the now, right?
You know what? This book is cute, it really is. And it did a pretty good job holding my attention. This is the story of friendship and the love that four friends had for each other, how deep it ran, and how it lasted and even grew while the friends were apart for a few months.
At the beginning of the story the girls find a pair of jeans that miraculously – with all of their differing body shapes and sizes – they all fit into and actually, they look great in. What’s more, when they wear the jeans, they feel great. (WHEN DOES THAT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE?) Such a neat, albeit fantastical, premise for a story. Okay, I’m hooked, I thought. So the friends decide that since they each will be spending the summer apart they will pass around the jeans by mail and let the jeans travel with them, sort of like a thing sharing their experiences with them, a bond that holds them together. This sort of began to sound cheesy a little bit to me as I was listening to the story and reading along, but I stuck with it. The four friends made a list out of the rules associated with the jeans, and they were pretty strict:
|I snapped this photo of the rules from my paperback copy.|
- On the left leg of the Pants, write the most exciting place you have been while wearing the Pants.
- On the right leg of the Pants, write the most imprtant thing that has happened to you while wearing the Pants. (For example, “I hooked up with my second cousing, Ivan, while wearing the Traveling Pants.”)
So off each girl goes for the summer, to do their own summer things.
- Lena – the lovely Lena – travels to Greece with her sister to spend the summer with her grandparents in Greece. Lena has a severe language barrier in that she cannot communicate well with her grandparents, but learns that communication transcends language. I think, honestly, Lena’s story in Greece may have been my favorite. (Besides the amazing family relationship in this story, there is a fantastic setting that is easily visualized as well as a boy and Lena’s love of art.)
- Carmen – the curvaceous beauty – goes to spend some time with her father and his new family. Carmen’s story is filled with emotion as she realizes that her father’s new family is really an actual family. She thought that she would be spending a ton of time with her dad, alone…but he has a wedding to plan and a whole new family and other kids to spend time with as well. Carmen doesn’t feel as special as she wanted to and as a result – well, she becomes pouty and broody. It takes her a while to realize that her father loves her and wants her to be a part of his new family. This is a great story line even though Carmen annoyed me a little bit. BUT I can see where this would be fantastic for a younger person to read, perhaps a younger person going through a similar situation.
- Bridget – the athlete – goes off to soccer camp to hone her skills on the field. She is excellent at the game and shows it all the time, often getting put in her place by the coaching staff and other players that are also excellent. Bridget also has her sights on a boy, a boy that is older than she is and not in a position to have a relationship with her. As a result, Bridget has the potential to have her heart broken in a big way.
- Tibby – sweet Tibby is sort of mad at life as she is the only one of the four to be stuck at home with a summer job. I can’t say that I blame her here, as this would have been my lot in life as a young person – being stuck at home – but I think that overall, Tibby’s summer is the most life-changing as she befriends a younger girl, Bailey, that teaches her some very valuable lessons about life.