Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jenn's Review: Forever in Blue

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)Summary:  Some friends just fit together.

With unraveled embroidery and fraying hems, the Traveling Pants are back for one last, glorious summer.

Join Ann Brashares’s beloved sisterhood once again in a dazzling, fearless novel about a summer that will forever change the lives of Lena, Carmen, Bee, and Tibby, here and now, past and future, together and apart.

Review:  It's been a while since I visited with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to pick it back up again so I put it off even longer.  I shouldn't have, it's like falling in with old friends again, though I thought I left them in better places in their lives, but that's what happens when you haven't kept in touch, isn't it?  Things keep moving without you, and they certainly have for the sisterhood. Although I think one of the reasons this seemed so familiar to me is that a lot of the second movie came from the fourth book. (I try to avoid watching the movie before reading the book for just this reason. I read books 2 and 3, I thought it would be safe to watch it...)  Regardless, it was still an enjoyable read.

I love Ann Brashares writing style; I always have.  It flows beautifully and is always warm and inviting, even when the girls are... not.  However, I found myself a little more impatient with her switching character voices this time through, but only because I was invested with what was going on with each of the girls.

I will say I am a little dissatisfied with where things ended up for some of the girls. While Bee and Carmen moved forward, I'm not so sure that Lena or Tibby did. At one point Lena tells Tibby, 'some people only fall in love once' and, as a woman but especially as a mom, I don't like the message that sends to girls. There are all kinds of "falling in love" and all kinds of depths. First loves usually aren't the only loves and they are hard enough to get over without placing more importance on them than they deserve. Sometimes those loves can hold you back from experiencing life and doing what you are meant to do. While I think Lena is on the brink of discovering this, I'm not sure she's there yet.  I'm actually relieved that there is a sequel that picks up eleven years later, Sisterhood Everlasting.  I think I would have been disappointed had I ended things with Forever in Blue.

Personal feelings aside, it is still a great read and solid book in the Sisterhood series.  The girls learn that, though the pants can help them feel closer when they're apart, they can't rely on the pants to keep them together.  I love watching how their friendships grow and mature.  I only hope my daughter will know friends like these.  I'm glad that Alice and I will be doing a group review of Sisterhood Everlasting soon because I'm not ready to say goodbye to the girls.

Final Take:  4.0/5


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