“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “The Second Summer of the Sisterhood” by Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsWhy did it take me so long to finally read these books? I’ve been missing out on a fun but touching story about female friendships and family.

Quick summary on both books:

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series is a contemporary young-adult series about the friendship of four teenage girls growing up in Bethesda, MD. All born within weeks of each other, the girls formed the Sisterhood when they discover a magical pair of pants that not only fits them all despite their varying body types, but also seems to bring about major changes in their lives whenever they wear it. They only wear the pants during the summer. The pants seems like any ordinary pair but when on, it accentuates the wearer’s features in an attractive way.

In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, we follow the girls as they go their separate ways for the first time in the summer. Bridget, who is tall, blonde, and athletic, is off to soccer camp in Mexico and Carmen, a curvy Latina, travels south to visit her father in South Carolina. Tibby, an aspiring film maker, stays home and finds a summer job while working on a documentary and beautiful Lena visits her grandparents in Greece. The girls decide to stay in contact by mailing the pants to each other along with a letter over the summer.

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood picks up the following summer. The girls have grown some due to the previous summer’s experiences and things escalate in this installment. Curious about her background, Bridget visits her grandmother in Alabama and Tibby attends a film summer course at a college. Carmen and Lena remain home for the summer but still learn more about themselves and their family.

My thoughts:

I don’t have much to say about the books because they are just cute, fun reads though they hint at deeper topics. I enjoyed reading them and it’s possible that Ann Brashares might become a new favorite author of mine because I love how easily her story flows and how relatable these characters are. It’s a moderately paced story and I was never bored. Actually, I became so engrossed that I practically completed the first book in a day. I couldn’t stop reading it.

That reaction was a pleasant surprise because though I enjoyed the movies, I didn’t love them; and I’ve toyed with idea of reading the book since the first time I heard of it but always forget to. I didn’t realize it was a series either. Once I was done with the first book, I had to hop to the next. They’re like Pringles. Once you pop, you can’t stop. You get hooked on the characters and their stories, though they are annoying sometimes.

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Speaking of the characters, Bridget and Lena are my favorites. Bridget because she’s so vivacious and spirited and fun. She jumps into life and enjoys it. But she also has her low moments, which I can somewhat relate to. By the end of the first book, I thought she might be bipolar but isn’t getting the help she needs. I like that the girls’ bond is so strong that they can easily tell when a friend is in need and are willing do whatever they can to help that friend.

I also like Lena because her personality is a little like mine. She’s shy, observant, and introverted. She’s also very creative and loves to paint. I enjoyed reading her parts in the first book but was annoyed with her in the second one because she was so indecisive. Then I got pissed at the boy. Smh.

Tibby is cool, but I felt sorry for her in the second book as she puzzles out her feelings toward her mother and I flip-flopped wit Carmen. I was rooting for her in the first book though I didn’t like her too much because she’s very judgmental, but she pushed the limit in the second book. She’s scathing and I felt sorry for her mother the whole time. I understand why Carmen is the way she is but I don’t like her, unfortunately.

And speaking of mothers, why are the mother-daughter relationships in this story so strenuous? Not one of them have a good mother-daughter relationship and the fathers are hardly mentioned, except for Carmen’s in the first book. In the second book, Tibby should have been just as unkind toward her father as she is toward her mother, but the story focuses only on Tibby’s feelings toward her mom. Again, I understand why Carmen is scathing toward everyone close to her but I expected — hoped — that Lena would at least have a somewhat good relationship with her mom. But that didn’t seem to be the case. I admire the bond between the girls but I wish the bond with their mothers was stronger…maybe it is. Maybe that’s why they’re so harsh toward their mothers, because they know that their moms will love them no matter what. But still…

Another thing I liked is the setting. I didn’t know that the story was set around the DC area. That’s so cool! I love it when I can identify places in books and experiences there because I’ve been to the places and experienced similar things there. That was just a great topping to my reading experience. Bridget’s time with her grandmother in the second book was also great and touching and one of my favorite parts. I almost cried. Actually, I almost cried several times while reading. Tears of joy, anger, and sadness threatened to fall.

The Sisterhood ★★★★★
The Second Summer ★★★★☆1/2

I guess I did have a lot to say about them. I enjoyed both books. They are fast reads, but the second took longer for me to complete because I read it while reading another book. The first book gets full 5 stars because it’s great but the second gets 4.5 because the characters really upset me. Yes, I drop stars because of that.

I borrowed e-books of both from my library because I recently discovered Overdrive. Though easy to read, the e-books, which were supplied through Kindle, were sometimes a little confusing when jumping to a different section within a chapter. The story is told from all four girls’ perspectives (should have mentioned that earlier but oh well) but there wasn’t a large enough gap between sections to indicate a switch in perspective, so I’d keep reading thinking it’s the same character as before and not realize the switch until later.

These are quick, fun reads and I highly recommend them. They are perfect for the beach and I wish I had read them during the summer. I love the characters, the settings, the narration, and also that the girls learn something new by the story’s end. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Really, I didn’t expect this reflection to be so long.


16 thoughts on ““The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “The Second Summer of the Sisterhood” by Ann Brashares

  1. I really enjoyed the movie but haven’t picked up the books. So great to hear they’re fun reading, I think they would be perfect summer reading! 🙂


  2. I watched a film based on one of the books but I’m yet to read any of them.thank you for the wonderful reviews.Definitely adding them to my TBR now


  3. They are definitely good “beach reads!” I read the first 2 books when I was in high school (about 7-ish years ago), but for whatever reason I never finished the series…I was probably distracted by other books – that tends to happen to me. But they hold a special place in my heart because my group of high school friends used to call ourselves the Sisterhood and we each had a character that corresponded to us. I was Tibby. 😉 I really like the books, so I want to for sure finish the series eventually. Great review!


  4. I think your review of the first two books was great! I’ve made a tradition of reading one book in the series every summer, which didn’t start out as an intentional act. I’ll end up reading the third book soon, and I’m excited to see what happens next!


    1. It’s the perfect time to read them. I might read the third soon and read the fourth when summer hits. I think there are 5 books in the series…not sure.


  5. I really enjoyed this whole series. It’s one of my favorites. I was late to the party also but that just meant I could binge on all of them. They seem to get better as the series progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww.
      I wasn’t able to tell they were set there from the movies. Even suburbs in the area were mentioned that I never thought I’d ever see mentioned in a book.


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