The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Summary: 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.
Are You a Carmen, Bridget, Lena, or Tibby?
If you’re old enough, you may remember a time when Sex and the City was all the rage, and everyone had to label themselves as one of the ladies from the show. In case you were wondering, I’m a Miranda with a hint of Charlotte because I am full of cynicism and sarcasm, but I still want my fairy tale ending. Reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants gave me a similar vibe. I saw myself as a mixture of Tibby and Lena. I am definitely not beautiful like Lena, but I have her social awkwardness and non-existent conversational skills. Tibby has the sulky, dark spirit that definitely plagued my teenage years and continues to this day.
Travel to a Quotastic Fantasyland!
I loved how The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants flowed from one member of the Sisterhood to another through their letters as well as the current happenings in their lives. Of course, it had a little cheesiness with the beyond their years wisdom that can only be brought about with childhood cancer and the fantastical notion of 1 pair of pants fitting 4 different body shapes, but enjoying books is all about letting our imagination be free, right?! Another aspect of the book I loved was the use of quotes to separate chapters instead of numbers. The quotes made the story feel continuous and provided the thematic tone for the chapter. They weren’t standard quotes that we’ve seen or heard a billion times. Some of the best Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants quotes were from characters in the story, which was adorable to me.
The Sisterhood Gets Reel
After watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I was disappointed to see a lack of some secondary characters I enjoyed from the book, like Bailey’s mom and Mimi the guinea pig. Their absence didn’t take away too much from Tibby’s summer story. However, the absence of Lena’s younger sister Effie definitely took away from Lena’s story. The good news is Effie’s absence isn’t the sole blame for that hot mess of a story.
I despised the movie completely changed Lena’s summer story. Using the excuse of needing to lighten up the story with a summer romance because of the heaviness of the other three does not sit well with me. I agree three out of the four stories from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants were heavy, but those stories were also filled with clichés. Lena’s story in the book was refreshing because it took a different path from the usual teenage romance. Lena’s story did not have to be turned into another modern take on Romeo and Juliet …YAWN.
Not only was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants a quick read, it was also a very enjoyable read. Even with some of the heavier topics like childhood cancer and losing one’s virginity, this book as a great beach read, but you may want to have a couple of tissues around. I am a heartless robot, and even I shed a few thug tears.
Once you start The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it’s going to be so hard to put down! This was a fun read I enjoyed from beginning to end. Even with my busy schedule, I read this book in less than 2 weeks! Although The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie really messed up Lena’s story and kind of dropped the ball with Bridget’s story, they did just enough right for Carmen and Tibby’s stories. We will let them live … for now. Rating: Page Turner / Kettle Korn