Book Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
By: Ann Brashares
Narrated By: Angela Goethals
Published By: Listening Library
Publication Date: May 2007
Audio Length: 6 hours, 39 minutes
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary, Chick Lit
On the Story & Writing:
I really enjoyed this movie and I've always meant to give the books a try, but just never seemed to get around to it. I decided to hit my local library up for book one on audio. You never know what to expect when you see a movie before reading a book; the two are never 100% identical so I had no idea what to expect. While the movie made quite a few significant changes, I do feel it stayed true to the nature of the four girls and their friendship.
Friendship is at the heart of this story. These are the types of friends I wished for as a teen. Each of them brings something unique to the relationship and comes with a set of flaws. The amazing thing is that as cohesive unit they work well and are able to compensate for the others' shortcomings. Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget provide a sense of acceptance and family for one another. I find their friendship to be inspirational and admirable.
This novel focuses on the first summer that the girls will be apart. Lena and her sister are headed to the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini to visit their grandparents. Bridget is headed to Baja California for a summer of fun, sun, and soccer. Carmen is on her way to Charleston, South Carolina to spend the summer with her father. Tibby is slightly disgruntled that she is being left behind with nowhere to go except her summer job. Each girl will learn things about herself while enjoying the summer and some of them will come to their emotional breaking point. However, in the end, they know that once they get home they will have the support and love of their friends.
I love the mystical element the pants bring to the story. Its interesting to me that one article of clothing could provide so much comfort and courage to each of the girls in the moments where it was most needed.
I am excited to spend more time with the sisterhood as I progress through the series. I loved each one of them. Ann Brashares' writing is compelling and heart warming. This is another example of well written, teen chick lit. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a great read for the warm weather!
On the Audio:
Angela Goethals was an awesome narrator. She did a nice job of distinguishing each girl from the others. I loved that she had a tough girl edge to her voice with Carmen, the sulky moody tones with Tibby, the flirtatious, vibrant voice for Bridget, and the shy, quiet nature of Lena. She captured the personality of each girl well. I hope that she narrates the future books in the series. I would also listen to her other works without hesitation. Audio was a great choice for me with this book and I may listen to the rest of the series.
One Last Gripe: It was a little gross to me that the girls never washed the pants. I love my friends, but I don't want to wear jeans they have worn without washing them first. Wouldn't they start to get gross and smelly after awhile?
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I really enjoyed that each girl got her own story line.
First Sentence: Once upon a time there was a pair of pants.
Favorite Character: Lena
Least Favorite Character: Lydia
Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.