Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Source: Random Buzzers
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now 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.
There have been different points of view on this book. Some people didn't like the fact that Ann Brashares had written an "epilogue" to the series, and opted out of reading the fifth book. Others were eager to pick up where the story left off, and some people just stumbled upon it.
This book makes your emotions run rampant. You will cry, you will get angry, you will want to be sucked into the story and both throw it against the wall.
Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen are some of the most filling characters in stories. There are those series that everybody reads, everybody has seen the movie, and they are just familiar to you. You feel like they're your best friends and they always have been.
In this novel, the Septembers do deal with issues that are adult, and it should be suited as a nice crossover book for many teens to start reading in the adult genre. This book is mostly marketed to both, because it's an adult book, but many readers of the Sisterhood series are teenagers.
Yes, there are some adult situations. There is dealing with money, balancing work with your personal life and respecting those boundaries (Carmen), wondering if the path that you left behind is the one that you should have taken, grief, and the sad reality of growing apart from the people that you grew up with.
In the early years after college, the Septembers were inseparable. Slowly and surely, they drifted apart. Bee moved to California; Lena started teaching classes in Providence; Carmen remained in New York to work as an actress; and Tibby moved halfway across the world.
Almost ten years later, they are about to turn thirty. They wonder whether the choices that they made were the right ones, and what happened to their sisters. They have almost given up hope of being sisters again, when Tibby sends them a letter.
This letter - including a plane ticket to Greece - tells them to go to Greece at a certain time. It will be like their trip to Greece in the fourth book. They will reunite, and have one last ritual of the Pants. Carmen, Lena, and Bee travel to Greece with the plans to meet Tibby there.
Their experience in Greece will change the rest of their lives and change the Sisterhood forever.
I'm writing this review right after I read this book because the emotions bubbling up with me have been taking over my head since I started this book. When I was reading it the other day, my sister walked in on me sobbing as I read because the feelings that this book gave me were so potent.
I'm not even being dramatic about this. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was one of the first young adult books that I ever read and perhaps the most honest. While not being graphic or raunchy, it goes through all the troubles and triumphs of growing up and becoming an adult. Between sex and love, friendship and prejudice, this book still gives you a feel-good feeling that makes you feel grateful for the friends that you have.This book represented for me, growing up and becoming who I am. I turned to the Sisterhood when I felt like I had no other place to go and I needed to know what to do. It truly strengthens the bonds of friendship and it takes you through every hoop that you might face. The previous series wasn't raw or intense, but it was complex and full of life.This book still retained the elements of the Sisterhood that made me fall in love with it so completely but it will change you. This is the book that you have to set aside time to read. No matter what you think you knew about life, this book takes a look at what it all means. It may be different for other people, but this book changed me for the better. Once you know something, you can never go back to that state of not knowing, and this was the same for this book. I can never go back. I will always remember the Sisterhood like this.This isn't a book; it's an experience.I hadn't read a book before this in a long time that made me feel alive. I have been on the search for a book that made me feel some strong emotion or experience a memory that I thought was lost forever. Each book was different, and good, but a lot of contemporary books started to have the same feel for me.I had actually thought that I wasn't going to read this book. In June, my camp counselor had bought this to read, and I was surprised to even learn that there had been an epilogue for this series. I for one, was happy where they had left off.I'm probably going to end up writing this book chronologically, and talking about how I felt while I read.During the beginning of the book, I was ready for pretty much anything. I thought that I was prepared to see how the girls handled their lives as adults, and how they interacted with each other. With this part of my thinking, I was completely and utterly wrong. This book left me falling apart and torn up inside and then just managed to build me up again.Reading this book put me through all the emotional pain that I had gone through in my lifetime and my brief experiences with grief were not enough to prepare me for this. This book makes you cry for all that is wrong with the world but leaves you with the hope that it might someday be fixed.One of the saddest parts to me was the idea that you could drift apart from your friends. When you were so close all throughout the beginning of your life, but when you become an adult, they're like half-wishes that never came true. They thought about each other and wondered about each other, but none of them were willing to bridge the gap until Tibby came along. It seemed hard to be the one to make the first move.It just seemed heartbreaking that they could all just be thinking of each other with nostalgia, but they didn't know what was going on in each other's life. Nobody knew that Carmen was having doubts about her fiance, Jones. None of the Sisters knew that Tibby had moved to Australia until they went to her apartment one day to find that she had randomly gone with Brian for his job. They didn't know that Lena was still longing for a relationship that she had years ago - Kostos in Greece. Bee was constantly moving, and she couldn't seem to settle down.Carmen liked to think of herself as the spoiled younger sister, but I really didn't think that she was that much. Even if she was a little bit in the first few books, in this book she has matured. She's an actress in New York, balancing the line between love and work. I liked this point of view because she goes and punctures illusion. Carmen finds a lot of truth in this book.Tibby was my favorite character throughout the series because I like to think that I'm a little like her. I get really moody sometimes, and I think about the bigger things. She was always my favorite, and she didn't like change. She always wanted to look back and stay in the past, and that's why I think that she was probably the one most affected by the Sisterhood drifting apart.Although Tibby was my favorite character, I just loved hearing about Bee's stories. Her adventurous nature made her a standout, and she always was on the move. She was free, and that's something that everyone wishes that they could be. She was that type of uncaring spirit that you always wanted to watch.Lena was the sweetheart. Her art hasn't been coming to her lately; she hasn't drawn in a while. She was the type of girl who is more comfortable on the outskirts, and I identified with that. While her body was in Providence, her mind was in Greece with Kostos. Kostos was then a high-profile businessman splitting his time between Greece and London, and she constantly thought of going back to talk with him. Doubts riddled her mind and she wondered if he would think of her like she thought of him.I must say that Lena and Kostos may be my favorite romance in YA. It's not overly "hot", but it's calm and there's a quiet passion between them that speaks louder than words. They long for each other, and it's not overdone. It's every romance that you've ever wanted, every future that you've ever wanted. Lena sees her future in Kostos's eyes. Some parts of it are subtle, but others are on the surface. They both don't want to take the risk of trying to see each other again after the mistakes that they made in their relationship. It was almost like a forbidden love, but they were just so amazing together. That's the type of love that I want to have eventually.This book is basically life condensed into 349 pages and everything that you want to have out of it. It deals with the bad things, the good things, and all the shades of grey. If you have ever thought of yourself as a reader of the Sisterhood books, or even just a book lover, you should read this. It won't leave you, but it makes you feel alive.No book recommendations. Just read it!No book club questions. Just enjoy it! Thanks for reading,Grace