Young Adult Fiction
Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
Written by: Ann Brashares
Published By: Delacorte Press
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I am a tremendous fan of the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. After seeing the movie, I bought every single book in the series it was based upon. I had read three of the books, but upon hearing that the upcoming sequel would cover events taking place in books two thru four, I knew I had to get reading. The movie was about to come out and I had not yet read Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood.
In this final novel of the series, the girls have just completed their first year of college. Due to the fact that Lena, Carmen, Bridget and Tibby were all going to school in different locales, the girls had decided to bend the rules of the sisterhood a tad and continue to wear the pants throughout the school year. They figured that the pants would somehow keep them close together despite the miles between them. And they did see one another on occasion – Lena would visit Tibby and Carmen would visit Bridget – but they had trouble getting all four of them together at the same place at the same time. But being without each other all year and now relying on the pants to keep them together may be asking too much.
Now, summer has arrived and once again, the girls will be far apart. Lena is staying in Providence to take summer art courses. Carmen has decided to go to Vermont to join a summer play house with a friend. Bridget is heading off to an archeological dig in Turkey. Tibby is staying in New York to complete a summer scriptwriting course at NYU.
The girls are all dealing with new and life-defining issues. Carmen, feeling like she has lost her identity in college, has latched on to a new friend who isn’t exactly what she seems to be. Lena has met someone new and exciting in art class, but will love lost keep her from pursuing anything new? Tibby and Brian reach a new level in their relationship, but can Tibby handle the roads it takes her down? Bridget starts to become a bit less self-absorbed, realizing what it is like to love and be loved. And in the midst of it all, an incident occurs with the pants that can change the way the Sisterhood looks at things forever.
I read Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood in two days. The only reason it took me so long was that I had to do inane things like read, go to the bathroom, sleep, take a shower, etc. Otherwise, I would have finished it in one. Brashares’ writing is enchanting and I was completely caught in her spell from first page to last. As always, I was completely captivated by the storylines of the Sisterhood. I found myself laughing out loud at some points and feeling angry at others. I was so absorbed in the characters and the challenges that faced them that it was hard to believe they weren’t real. The characters are so incredibly easy to relate to. If the things that happened to them didn’t happen to me at some point in my life, then they happened to someone I knew. I think that’s why these books are such fast reads – the writing style is such that we totally relate to what’s happening and we are interested in finding out how someone else has dealt with these situations.
The surprise ending was great, though it wasn’t much of a surprise to me. I could see it coming, but I won’t ruin it for anyone else by giving hints. I will say that I loved that the girls learned a bit about the strength of their friendship via the trials they go through at the end of the novel. Now that I have completed the whole Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, I simply can not wait until the movie hits the theaters. I hope that the powers that be do as good a job with this sequel as they did with the original film.