Need an easy, satisfying read to take to the beach this summer? Look no further than the very quick and downright fun The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. The book follows the adventures of four young friends who all share a pair of pants, purchased from a second hand store, while traveling during summer vacation. The pants are mailed back and forth between them while they trek to different parts of the world. The pants play a clever part in interweaving the stories of the teenagers; reckless Bridget, jaded Tibby, the stunning but shy Lena and the over-emotional Carmen.
The characters are somewhat stereotypical, but that was the only sort-of fault that I could find. I found myself really liking each of the characters, quirks and all, and was sad to finish the book so quickly. I can understand why this is such a popular book with the young adult crowd. I was reading this online article about the Harry Potter phenomenon and found one quote very interesting.
“Potter has greatly expanded the real estate for young adult fiction,” says Doug Whiteman, president of the Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA). “The teen section of a bookstore is now quite a substantial area, shopped in not only by teens, but by parents.”
I find myself drawn more and more to the YA section of the bookstore after reading books like The Traveling Pants and Twilight. I am really impressed by the pure writing talent to be found in YA fiction.
Shortly after finishing the book, while my daughter slept over my parent’s house last week, I rented the movie on DVD. Rarely do I enjoy both the book and the movie, but the movie was so well cast that I found myself taking pleasure in seeing the book characters come to life. The screenwriters did take a little liberty with the story, although the basic message was still there.
So, as any good obsessive compulsive person would do, I ran right out and bought The Second Summer of the Sisterhood AND Girls in Pants, The Third Summer of the Sisterhood. I didn’t pick up the fourth installment, Forever in Blue, since it is still in hardcover (hey, even I have my limits).
Hmmm, now if I could only fit in a trip to the beach before our big trip to China…