Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares

not only is this novel for teens, but it’s specifically written for teenage girls. so you might ask, what the hell was i thinking reading this book when i’m clearly a male adult who’s well beyond his teenage years. well personally, i think it’s precisely books like these that give us adults an opportunity to understand the workings of the minds of teenagers – or in this particular instance, the minds of teenage girls.

perhaps you have a teenage daughter who you always end up having arguments with. or a juvenile niece you just can’t get along. maybe it’s time to pick up this book if only to make a sincere attempt to understand and mayhap be able to relate to this generation’s crop of teenage girls. the potential learning to be gained from this fictional book might be worth 10 times more what you might hope to gain from their non-fiction counterparts. and undoubtedly a hundred times more enjoyable.

anyway, the story is about 4 high school best friends – lena, tibby, bridget and carmen – who embark on separate adventures as they journey through their first summer apart from each other. they share this special pair of pants that somehow magically fits all four of them despite each having different body types. there are certain rules that govern the wearing of the pants. the pants “travel” from one best friend to another after someone has kept and used it for a certain period of time.

but don’t be deceived into thinking that the novel is mainly about the pants. the real story involves the many different experiences and sometimes even life-changing events that each girl has to face. occurrences that any ordinary teenage girl may encounter, like for instance being in love with a boy and yet not knowing it or perhaps just outright denying it; harboring passionate love for an older boy even if such a relationship is forbidden; a sudden caring for a feisty but lonely girl who’s life is about to be sapped out by a vicious disease; the feeling of being left-out and ignored as one’s estranged but much loved father is about to be married to another woman and all his attention is suddenly focused on his wife-to-be and her two children; and so on ……

i think the book’s strength is in author ann brashares’ soulful skill in storytelling. it’s detailed without being pedantic. it’s light and yet at times can make you cry. she is able to let the reader capture the moment as if he himself was experiencing the event.

rating: 4 of 5 stars * * * *
very heartfelt.

1 comment:

rob said...

Give kids and teenagers more credit. Not all kids read these young adult books, while many 'adults' act more like children.