Young Adult Fiction

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood

Written by: Ann Brashares

Published By: Delacorte Press

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            I never thought in a million years that I would become so addicted to a series of novels targeted toward young adults, but after seeing the movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and reading the novel it was based upon, I found I was hooked.  It all started with four girls whose mothers met in a prenatal aerobics class and became fast friends.  The four were all born in September and were inseparable ever since, until one summer, Bridget found herself traveling to a soccer camp in Mexico, Lena traveled to Greece to stay with her grandparents, Carmen left to spend time with her father and Tibby stayed home and started a summer job.  One pair of jeans, found in a thrift shop, that amazingly fit each one of the girls, kept them together.  This was the first summer of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the girls have been through numerous adventurous summers since.

            In Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, we come upon Bridget, Carmen, Lena and Tibby as they graduate high school and begin their college careers.  Each of the girls will be traveling in their own direction once college begins and they all worry what that will mean for their friendship.  And it seems that this summer, each of the girls will need the magic of the pants more than ever.  Bridget is about to head off to coach at a soccer camp, only to discover that she has intimate knowledge of one of her fellow coaches.  Lena has planned on going to art school and her parents were on board with her decision…that is, until her father walks in on one of her summer classes and changes his mind.  Carmen decides to spend the summer babysitting Lena’s grandmother and learns that she’s gotten into a bit more than she can handle.  Tibby’s relationship with her friend Brian is changing.  In fact, everything is changing too fast and Tibby is finding all of these changes a tad overwhelming.

            As always, once you pick up one of Ann Brashares’ novels, it’s hard to put it back down again.  I finished Girls in Pants in a couple of days.  Brashares’ has this way of reeling you in and making you care about what happens to the characters.  Chapters are short and plentiful and the book is thick, but you never notice the length of the novel thanks to the terrific story.  I love the quotes found before each chapter – some words of wisdom from intellectuals like Ralph Waldo Emerson, some from song lyrics, some from the characters themselves and even one from Spongebob Squarepants

            Girls in Pants is a fun read and I enjoyed going along for the ride as the girls matured over this third summer and prepared for college.  Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are characters readers can relate to whether young or old.  Adults will be taken back to a day when wearing the wrong shirt could be a tragedy and being seen with the wrong person could ruin your whole summer.  Teenagers will recognize the struggles these girls are going through as something they are presently contending with.  No doubt we all wish we had such a magical pair of pants to keep our time honored friendships going. 

            With the second Sisterhood movie scheduled to hit the theaters this summer, I just had to buy the fourth and final novel in the series, Forever in Blue.  If it’s anything like the last three novels in the series, I’m sure I’ll finish it in no time, raving about it to anyone who will listen.


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