I was a teenager myself when Ann Brashares released her first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book. If you’ve never read them before, they’re a pretty fun set of novels geared towards teens. The series centers around four girls who have been friends since bith. When they’re in high school, they go out shopping one day and discover a pair of seemingly magical pants that fit all four of them, despite their very different body types. The girls have to spend the summer apart, so they ship the pants to each other as a way to keep in touch. The first four books find the girls falling in love, getting into college, struggling with their families, and most of all sticking together through thick and thin. I devoured all four books and found myself pretty attached to Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby by the end of the fourth book, not really wanting to part with them just yet.
So imagine my delight when, ten years after that first book, I find out that Ann Brashares has written a fifth book about the girls titled Sisterhood Everlasting. This time, they are in their late 20s and are experiencing life as adults. Carmen is an actress living in New York City, Lena is teaching art classes at RISD, Tibby is in Australia with her longtime love Brian, and Bridget is constantly changing jobs and apartments in San Francisco. Though Carmen works hard to keep everyone together, the girls don’t see much of each other anymore. That is, until Tibby suddenly sends them all plane tickets for a trip to Greece, giving the girls a chance to finally come together once again.
Beyond that, I can’t say too much about the book because something shocking happens, and I don’t want to spoil interested readers. All I will say is that this book has a really different tone from the other books (especially since it’s now geared more towards adults rather than teens), and if you’re a longtime fan of the series, it might not be a bad idea to read this with a box of tissues nearby. It’s really a story about how even the closest of friends can drift apart, how much we change over the years, how little we really change, and how we deal with tragedy. As someone who has read the previous books in the series, it was interesting to see where they all ended up and continue on with their journeys. Lena and Bridget have always been my favorite characters, and their stories in this book are especially compelling. If you’ve never read any of the other books, Brashares does a pretty good job at giving you the background information you need, but I’d still recommend giving the earlier books a try. They were even made into a couple of movies, with the first book being made into the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the second, third, and fourth books being combined into the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Overall, I’m glad I got to revisit these old friends one more time.