A pair of jeans purchased at a thrift store is the unlikely bond that keeps four best friends emotionally connected during the first summer that they spend physically apart. Carmen doesn’t think much of the pants she buys for $3.49, until she and her pals discover their magical quality. The jeans which fit each girl perfectly despite their very different body types serve as a surrogate friend for Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bridget as they wrestle with new issues of first love, jealousy, fear and sadness in the months before their junior year of high school. Each girl has a turn with the pants, then sends them on to the next person in the rotation; by summer’s end, when the friends are reunited, the jeans will be the symbol of what the girls have experienced.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is just one of those books where the movie version is just better. While the book gives all four girls equal attention, I felt that the movie’s editing did a lot for the flow of the story and just how interested I was in it. The book was missing a lot of the fun and excitement the movie had because while the movie had it’s serious moments showing the girls going through tough times, the book was filled with these moments and got bogged down in places.
Finding a way to stay connected is inspiring and sweet — something that every teen struggles with when a friend moves away or they go off to college — but it’s a little rough around the edges and the writing is not that clear or concise through much of the book.
Of the four girls, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby were the only ones I really liked and the only ones who I could understand where they were coming from. Although, in the book, Lena’s story came across a pretty unbelievable, and the movie makes her relationship with Kostos so much more romantic. Bridget comes across as crazy, boy-crazy, and her story is skimmed over until she literally has a nervous breakdown. And, overall, the whole book ended too quickly, possibly because the story continues in a sequel, but I felt like the characters were developing, building and then, bam, it was over. It’s still a really sweet book, and I can see why its so popular. What I don’t know is if I’ll continue with the series.
- Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. New York: Delacorte, 2001. Print. 294 pgs. ISBN: 9780385729338. Source: Library.