Sisterhood Everlasting

 
New book in popular Traveling Pants series targets adults.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Quite a vocabulary builder. And readers who enjoy this book should check out the author's other work, including the previous books in the series and 3 Willows.

Positive messages

Strong message about the power of friendship -- and the importance of telling people how you feel, even when it means taking a risk with your heart.

Positive role models

The four female protagonists are each flawed, but they do grow through this course of this book -- and make choices to ensure their own happiness. They learn that they can indeed lean on one another -- and even include new members into their circle of support.

Violence

A key character dies at the beginning of this book, drowning while swimming. Her friends assume it was a suicide.

Sex

Some kissing and Bee has a graphic near one-night stand with a stranger she hooks up with while drunk at a bar. Tibby, Bee, and Carmen all live with their boyfriends; Tibby has a child and Bee considers terminating an unplanned pregnancy. Some discussion of birth control and a Planned Parenthood visit. Kostos tells Lena he wants to wake up in the same bed together.

Language

Some occasional swearing, including the f-word, "a--hole," etc.

Consumerism

Some brands mentioned, including Vera Wang, Pop Tarts, iPhone, ABC, People magazine, etc. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking, including to drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a new installment of the popular Traveling Pants series, but this volume takes place nearly 10 years later and is written for an adult audience. The four friends at the heart of this series are now nearly 30, and dealing with mature issues: When a key character dies, the three remaining friends assume it is a suicide, and when one discovers she is pregnant, she initially wants to have an abortion. There is some swearing and drinking, and also lots of tears and heartbreak. But in the end, there is a strong message about the power of friendship -- and the importance of telling people how you feel, even when it means taking a risk with your heart.

What's the story?

When a key character dies, the three remaining friends in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants find a letter suggesting it was suicide. This sudden tragedy makes the friends fall apart inside themselves, and from each other: One leaves her boyfriend and becomes homeless, another makes plans to marry her jerky boyfriend, and another's love seems doomed, since she can't tell her partner how she feels. But the deceased friend has left additional notes for the friends she has known since birth, and these letters help them fix what's broken in their lives, figure out what exactly happened in hers -- and ultimately lead them back to each other.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This follow-up may be targeted to an older audience, but readers will still be inspired by its powerful messages about the importance of love and friendship. There is a lot of grieving here, which can be somewhat overwhelming, but the author knows these characters well, and the readers who have long loved them will be willing to follow them anywhere, including down their own personal paths of destruction. The ending may wrap a little neatly -- OK, a lot neatly -- but it is a satisfying conclusion after all these girls have lived and learned, in this volume and throughout the series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the audience for this book. Is the book targeting teen or adult readers? Can you think of other books that are trying to reach both girls and women? What would publishers be interested in selling crossover books?

  • What made you want to read this installment of the series? And why do you think the author wanted to return to these characters? What do publishers have to gain by printing an additional volume of this popular series?

Book details

Author:Ann Brashares
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:June 14, 2011
Number of pages:368

This review of Sisterhood Everlasting was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bysk8lady June 24, 2011
age 15+
 

Good book for mature readers.

I've read all of Brashares' books, including the Traveling Pants series, and was shocked when my favorite character turned up dead at the beginning of the book. The book was thought-provoking and a pretty good read, but don't make the mistake of thinking of it as another in the Traveling Pants series--this is absolutely an adult book. If your child is a mature 15 and up, it's okay for them; younger or less mature readers should wait.
Kid, 12 years old March 3, 2012
age 12+
 

Love the whole series

I love the plot line and it shows that although many years apart can make you grow as a person it also shows that someday many years later you find the people you love again. It is sad though when one of the girls die. it is for mature readers because it is quite heavy on the soul when she dies
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much consumerism

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