Title: Sisterhood Everlasting
Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Rating: 3 out of 5
Ten years after the events of Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood, the reader revisits Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby. After Tibby moves to Australia with Brian and loses touch with her three friends, the sisterhood drifts apart. Lena is living by herself, lost to the world, while Carmen has achieved her dream - she is a successful actress and engaged to a man that none of her friends like. Meanwhile, Bee is living in California with her boyfriend, Eric. When the three friends each receive a plane ticket to Greece from Tibby, they are ecstatic that they will be able to reconnect, until tragedy strikes and nothing is ever the same.
I’ve read and enjoyed all the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants novels, so I was excited when I heard that Ann Brashares was releasing a new novel about the girls (now women!) ten years later. I was excited to revisit with Lena, Carmen, Bee, and Tibby and see where their lives had taken them, and how they had grown up since the last novel.
The problem was that I didn’t feel they really had grown up. While it was nice to see some of their more familiar quirks, I felt like they were the exact same people I had left in the fourth book, maybe even with some regression. Lena was still a loner, Bee still had commitment issues - it was more of the same. Then, after the tragedy struck (which I won’t ruin for you), each of the girls retreats even more into themselves. The entire novel is one long introspective and nonmoving character study, and to be frank, it gets frustrating.
Now, if you’ve read the novel, you might think I have no heart. Don’t get me wrong, I was moved by this book at times - though I was able to predict most of the storyline from people’s comments about how it was really sad, I still teared up now and then. But I just felt like the entire book revolved around pivotal events at the beginning and the end of the novel, and that nothing really happened in between.
Of course, I’m in the minority with this opinion - most of the reviews and comments I’ve heard about this novel were rave reviews. But I’m sorry to say I didn’t love this book and actually felt like it was unnecessary - I would have been happy to leave the Sisterhood at the end of the fourth book. That being said, it was nice to see Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bee again, and I was happy with how they ended up - though I must admit that I found the ending of the book a little too sappy for enjoyment. Overall, I think I could have done without reading this novel, though if you’re a huge fan of the series, you should pick this book up just because you’ll wonder about it if you don’t.