The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood Book Poster Image
Second book in friendship series is a good fit for teens.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This book will get kids thinking about 

Positive Messages

The value of friendship is front and center here. The girls continue to grow up -- this time working through their complicated relationships with their mothers. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

These are great kids -- they love each other, they understand loyalty and friendship. You'd have them over for dinner in a heartbeat.

Violence

One storyline follows a character dealing with her mother's suicide.

Sex

Much making out, more graphic than the previous book. Kostos has sex with a girlfriend (the act isn't described), who gets pregnant.

Language

A few strong expletives.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sequel continues to focus on the relationships of four close friends. The girls demonstrate a great love for each other, and teens can learn a lot from how they support each other. There's some mature material -- one teen faces her mother's suicide of years ago, while another single mother has an affair. Plus, the girls make out with boys (more than in the first book) and make some poor decisions from time to time. But it's the strong friendships as well as the girls' individual coming-of-age stories that make this series sing.

 

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byjoc13 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

okay...a little dramatic

This was a pretty good book but i liked the first one better. Can't wait to read the last one!

What's the story?

The girls embark on another dramatic summer in THE SECOND SUMMER OF THE SISTERHOOD. Tibby goes off to a film school's summer program, where she'll confront her relationships with her mother, her sort-of-boyfriend Brian, and her late friend Bailey. Bridget goes to Alabama under an alias to reestablish contact with her maternal grandmother and delve into her own and her late mother's past. Lena discovers things in her mother's past that she'd rather not know; she also returns to Greece for her grandfather's death and to find out why Kostos has broken off their relationship. And Carmen, having ripped apart and resewn her relationship with her father in the previous book, now does the same with her mother, who has fallen in love.

Is it any good?

Author Ann Brashares is a strong writer, and the scenes and events flash easily by, imbued with good and important lessons that aren't too didactic. Fans of the first book -- and there are lots of them -- will certainly want to follow the girls' melodrama into its second summer and will be enthralled as their favorite characters plow through their trials and tribulations.

There's more of everything here: more pages (it's almost 100 pages longer than the first book), more peripheral characters (so many that it's sometimes hard to keep track), more tears, more dark and selfish behavior, and more graphic make-out scenes. Even the Pants travel around more, though they're less central to the plot. Even though the characters are less sympathetic and less dependent on each other in this book than they were in the first novel, . The Second Summer will resonate with fans of the first book, as much of what happens to the girls this summer builds on events from before.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship. How are girl friendships in particular typically portrayed in the media? Does this book offer a counterpoint to many of those representations? How?

  • How do publishers decide which books will be stand alone and which ones deserve sequels?

  • This book was much longer than the first -- is it as good? Do you expect each installment to be equally well done?

Book details

For kids who love coming-of-age stories

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