My first book in 2012!
I put The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on my ebooks library wait list as a whim. I had enjoyed the movies. Yes, I’ve seen both the movies. I love Alexis Bledel and thinks she is really pretty. And this was before Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl made America Ferrera and Blake Lively famous. In any case, when I saw this book while browsing, I decided to check it out.
My review is going to have a lot of references and comparisons to the movie. Can’t help having some preconceived notions when I have seen the movie before reading the book. I actually really liked the book. I wasn’t expecting to, I guess. But the book draws you into the lives of these girls. Each of them so different and so needy in their own ways.
My favorite is Lena, the shy beauty who is spending the summer in Greece with her grandparents. It doesn’t hurt that she was played by Alexis Bledel, who I think was perfect for the role. Lena has always been praised as beautiful. I liked that instead of having that go to her head, she is instead, introverted and unromantic when it comes to boys and love. But Lena is thrown for a loop when she falls in love for the first time. I also liked her relationship with her sister Effie. Effie was portrayed as more of a pest in the movie. But in the books, the sisters are very supportive. Of each other.
Then there is Tibby, stuck home to work at a Walgreens type store. I don’t remember this in the movie at all, but in that summer, Tibby meets Bailey, a wise 12 year old fighting leukemia. Suffice it to say, Tibby grew up a lot that summer and I went through quite a few kleenexes.
Then there is our narrator Carmen, who was supposed to spend the summer bonding with her dad. Instead, she finds him engaged with two future step kids. Carmen struggles with fitting into this new family, particularly because they are white suburbia all the way and she is part Puerto Rican. Some of her angst is self made, but she does deal with the issues a lt of children of divorced parents deal with.
Finally, there is Bridget, the sporty beauty at a soccer camp in Baja Mexico. Bee is exuberant and full of life, until she runs out of steam. In a way, she is the most fragile of the four, having lost her mother at a young age.
The book was a fast and enjoyable read. I think Ann Brashares painted a very three dimensional set of relatable characters. I’m going to see if the sequel is available too. B+