Feb 23, 2012

SIsterhood Everlasting

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

My rating: 4 stars

Overview from goodreads: 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.

This book is the fifth and final chapter in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I was introduced to the first book in a Young Adult Literature class I took in college, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I think every woman should read this series because while the first four books are about the girls when they are teenagers, they deal with issues that are relatable, regardless of your age.

I haven't read the series in years, so I wasn't sure how well I'd remember story lines, or even details about the characters themselves. Not to worry - the author does a good job of weaving memories and details from the previous books into the current story. (However, I do recommend you read the first four before this last one in order to really get everything out of it).

I was actually surprised because this book was a lot heavier than the previous ones. Maybe it's because the girls are all about my age in the story, but it seemed like every other page (or rather screen, since I read this on my kindle), I was stopping because something made me think. Let me give you a few examples:

"I remember my mom once told that a good family is built for leaving, because that is what children must do. And I've wondered many times, is that also what a good friendship is supposed to be built for? Because ours isn't." (This is probably the quote that stuck with me the most in the story. I have never thought this but it makes so much sense).

"Bee is our true middle child - free as a butterfly. She loves you, but she doesn't care what you think. She is not afraid; she's got the rest of us holding that down. She's free to compete, free to kick ass, free to fail and laugh about it." (I really only included this because it made me laugh - I'm a middle child and I could completely relate!)

"Emergencies gave you a shape and a plot to take part in, while death was no story at all. It left you nothing."

Sometimes the story drove me crazy, and sometimes it really pushed me to an uncomfortable place. But I think that's the sign of a good book, don't you? There is heart ache and sadness in this story, but there is also light, and joy. It ended up being a nice balance of both.  

"Some people said the first month was the worst. Others said it was really the first three months. Grief was like a newborn, and the first three months were hard as hell, but by six months you'd recognized defeat, shifted your life around, and made room for it."

I don't want to tell you too much about the plot itself because there are some twists and turns I'd rather not reveal, but I definitely recommend this to read. It's a little heavy, but it is worth it. And if you don't believe me I'll leave you with this one last quote:

" '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...At least I tried.'"

Have you read any of the books in this series? What did you think? Were you able to relate to the stories?

Happy almost Friday!


Kate Sparkles said...

Ah I read this a couple of months back. I was at train station selecting an over priced book to devour on the four hour trip back to my town. I made the mistake of picking this. I wanted something light hearted and fun, nothing too heavy. Instead I spent almost the whole trip sobbing as I read. Now I know the other books weren't all Fluff and nonsense, but they definitely didn't have the same depressing theme as this.. I actually really didn't like this book at all. I felt cheated by it. I found much of it completely implausible or simply ridiculous. I loved the first four so much and had been so excited to read this new instalment but part of me wishes I hadn't. I found the change in Carmen the most frustrating, I wanted to jump into the pages and shake her. There were individual pieces of writing inside the book that I liked, such as the bits you've touched on but overall something about it just felt wrong.

Megan said...

UH! I barely got through the first two! They left me a sobbing mess! I really want to read this one though now...I love love that last quote! That is how I try to gauge situations in my life. Did I at least try and make an effort?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I loved this book. It was heavier than I expected, but I still really liked it. I felt like Carmen was so unlikeable so I agree with the comment of the person above. Was she that self-absorbed in the other books? I don't remember that.

Here are 2 quotes I bookmarked on my nook:

"... she felt her face opening into expressions she'd forgotten how to make. Lena remembered herself in all th eold famliar things they said. She existed in her friends; there she was. All the parts of herself she'd forgotten. She knew herself best when she was with them."

"She'd cried over a broken heart before. She kenw what that felt like, and it didn't feel like this. her heart felt not so much broken as just... empty. If felt like she was an outline, empty in the middles. The outline cried senselessly for the absent middle. The past cried for the present that was nothing."

Ah. Such a great book. I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't heard about it from you and Kelly of She Wears a Red Sox Cap!

Nora said...

I havevn't read any of the books in this series but considering both you & Lisa love them I'm definitely going to have to check them out. I could use a light read series, so I think this is all getting bumped up the list! Thanks for the review!

Amber said...

I have read the other books in the series but a LONG time ago. Like barely remember them at all! Reading Lisa's comment above though I DO remember Carmen being really annoying and self-involved.

I definitely want to read this book since you and Lisa loved it so much!!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Great review! I was a huge fan of the whole series and I really liked the last book a lot, though it was quite a bit heavier than the other ones. There were times where I was like this is way too much, but in the end I think it was overall a "happy" ending :) I think it's fun for people our age because when the books first came out, we were close to the age of the girls, and then the new book we are also close to the age... it makes it easy to relate to I guess!

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