The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
There has been a lot in the news about this book. It has even been made into a movie. So naturally i was assuming lots of grown up drama and not a little bit of sex to titilate and the like. You can’t have a book about women make it so big without something for the less highly evolved brain to latch onto. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was not only a book about teenagers, I had assumed more like my age in young women, but that it was a book written for teenagers.
Normally books written about and for teenagers, I have found, seem to stick to the high school scene – God forbid there be any place else to live life, the character’s powerlessness – as teenagers and as young women, and the books never lend much credence to the fact that there is life beyond high school- or they only do so in the abstract sense of: “Oh yeah, college.”
This book takes place over a summer – no school. You get a very real sense of the power these young women have, to get up and go, to face their fears and so on. And, since this book distances itself so much from the “school” scene, the fact that there is a future not only of college but beyond college is evident. Life is evident as not only a now but as a fluid thing and that is part of what makes this book incredibly awesome, to me.
Tibby, you are crazy,” Carmen said. “Those pants are in love with you. They want you for your body and your mind.” She couldn’t help seeing the pants in a completely new way.
The book also acknowledged both childishness and maturity, both on the parts of the adults and of the teens. Which I appreciated. It also showed whole families struggling with things like death, divorce, and generation gaps. It made these huge issues seem ordinary and I found that unique, especially in a for-teen book.
Before I get on to my complaints I feel I have to answer this question for myself: Which girl do I feel I am most like? I would have to say a bit of Tibby, a bit of Carmen, and a bit of Bridget’s mother. Tibby is a lot like how I was when I was younger, Carmen’s feelings for her family I can empathize with and Bridget’s mother… It only took a single sentence and I immediately knew where she was coming from and where she had gone. Probably long before most other readers might have figured it out too.
For complaints: the cutting back and forth was a bit disorienting, I liked the fact that the author did go from girl to girl (POV-wise) third person wouldn’t have captured it quite so well, I just wish she didn’t do it so quickly. You were constantly moving, almost journeying yourself, from one girl to the next and from one adventure to the next. I think this was mainly due to fear of a reader’s short attention span then due to any stylistic attempt with journeying though.
My other complaint would be the lack of closure on Bridget’s story. Too much had to happen for that story to have closed gracefully and so it was left hanging. Perhaps purposefully. After all the author did go on to write a second book. One I hope to get my hands on as soon as possible.