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Sister of the Bride (First Love #4)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,310 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Barbara can hardly believe her older sister is getting married. With all the excitement of wedding plans going on, Barbara can't help dreaming of the day she will be the bride. She can't wait to fall in love.

But as the big day gets closer, wedding planning often turns into family arguments. Even the bride and groom are bickering over details, and Barbara's fun-loving siste
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Paperback
Published January 2nd 2007 by HarperCollins (first published 1963)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Alison
Jul 10, 2012 Alison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susann
Jan 24, 2010 Susann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susann by: Laurie & Kate
Shelves: re-read
With every re-read, this book gets better and better. It's a perfect blend of funny meets thoughtful and it shows the joys and mundane realities and struggles of married life.

Re-read 10-12-08 in honor of my sister's engagement.

4-22-08 review:
"If she was going to get married in seven hundred days she should think about falling in love, and the sooner the better."

Mammoth thanks to Kate for mailing me a copy. Why did I resist Cleary's YA novels for so long? I'm liking them more and more. This one
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HeavyReader
Jun 24, 2007 HeavyReader rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romance novel junkies in training
Shelves: young-adult
More squeaky clean teen romance. At least that's the way I remember it.
Jennifer Hughes
My daughter just eats up these sweet, old-fashioned Beverly Cleary teen romances. I'm reading this at her urging! It is a cute book, but my favorite one of these "First Love" books is, and I think always will be, Fifteen.
Update: I finished this and thought it was cute but not as fun as some other Cleary books. The strange thing for me was that I remember feeling some of the very kinds of things when my older sister got married, yet reading it in Barb's voice just wasn't that interesting. I felt
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Kate
Oct 30, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much when I was a kid and have read it many times over the years. This was my first re-read in quite a while -- I needed some comfort food in book form and pulled this off the shelf. This time it definitely struck me as dated and sexist, but out of nostalgia I will still award it five stars. It was my first introduction to Paul Klee, after all, and I still joke about Bill Cunningham whenever I make snickerdoodles.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Barbara Maclane is sixteen years old, and has barely begun to have an interest in boys. She sometimes walks home with Tootie Bodger, a trombone player in the school band, but her kindness toward him is more sympathetic than romantic, and her thirteen-year-old brother's disgusting eating habits and poor manners don't exactly do anything to improve her opinion of the opposite sex. Still, when her older sister Rosemary, who is only 18, comes hom
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Carin
I know I read this book as a teen, but I didn't remember much about it. I love that it was written from the point of view of the younger sister, not the bride. It is both a unique perspective, but also spoke to a group of young girls who often feel left out and ignored, one of Ms. Cleary's specialties. Is it dated? Most certainly. Originally published in 1963, that was 4 years before my parents got married. But I like that even then, Rosemary's young age is commented upon several times. And many ...more
Laura Hughes
Aug 14, 2013 Laura Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: girly-ya
A teenager's views of love and marriage gradually become more mature as she witnesses her older sister's frustratingly practical engagement and wedding. There is a "first love" dating subplot for the main character, Barbara, but isn't particularly filled out (compared to, say, Fifteen) because that's not the point. Bride Rosemary is sharp and well-drawn. As the wedding plans unfold with delicious detail, characters butt heads over opposite but totally understandable beliefs about love, adulthood ...more
Audrey
This was another wonderful book by Cleary, with all the human insights and relatable details that make her writing so enjoyable.

Although this is a rather simple story, I feel like there is a lot more to it underneath the surface. It addresses father/daughter, brother/sister, and sister/sister relationships, as well as featuring the widening generation gap between children of the 1960s and their parents.

I can't believe that they were able to plan the wedding in six weeks! It did seem like Rosema
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Rachel
Aug 07, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my best friends gets married this week. She asked me a year ago if I would stand up with her on her special day, and I was thrilled and said yes right away.

So the last time when I was home and saw this book on my shelf, I grabbed it right away, remembering how charming it was when I was a teenager.

I loved Beverly Cleary growing up, and was not let down by this re-read. It's good, clean teen romance. When Barbara's 19 year old older sister comes home and announces that she's getting marri
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Kricket
Apr 10, 2012 Kricket rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fiction, retro, 2012
16 year old barbara is excited when older sister rosemary (18!) decides to get married, but planning a wedding puts the house into upheaval, and barbara can't help but wonder when her turn will come.

another retro treasure i recall from my childhood, found on the bargain table at john k. king. this was never my favorite of the cleary "young love" novels but i feel like i appreciate it more now. i like that cleary points out that a marriage is all about the couple's love for each other and doesn'
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Bonnie
Oct 27, 2012 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable enough book by another of my favorite childhood authors, about a 16-year-old girl whose 18-year-old sister is getting married. It kind of meanders along and never has any real drama to it, but the worst part of it is how badly dated it is, not just in the story itself but in the mechanics of the writing. Lots of phrases that really should've been contractions, because that's the way people talk. The constant reference to Barbara's parents as "Mr. and Mrs." without using their first ...more
Julie Decker
Barbara's older sister is getting married and she couldn't be more thrilled! But even though the wedding bells initially inspire her to dream about her own future as a bride, she faces family challenges as the wedding planning kicks into high gear. Barbara's sister and other folks involved bicker and fight over aspects of the wedding both trivial and significant, and Barbara herself starts feeling a bit lost in the shuffle, wondering if things will ever go back to normal.

Big family events can of
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Natalie
As a kid, these books were the only romance novels I could stomach - and due to the lightness of the content, this could easily be children's as well as YA. Sister of the Bride tells the story of Barbara as she helps her older sister prepare for her wedding. Beverly Cleary does a great job of keeping the characters realistic; Cleary doses her novels with reality and doesn't fall into the worst cliche of all in romances - everyone gets their happy ever after. I do remember this novel being a lit ...more
Isolde
Jan 16, 2012 Isolde rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet story about 16 year-old Barbara who learns that her older sister, Rosemary, is engaged. The family is a little surprised especially since Rosemary is only 18 and still in her freshman year at Berkeley. As the family prepares for the wedding, Barbara's romantic views contrast with her practical-minded sister. Barbara is worried that her sister will indeed just wear a suit for her wedding (which will be handed down to her when she gets married) and will not have any bridesmaids, an ...more
Jessica
Sep 02, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just found this on my Goodreads shelf with NO STARS. I don't know why, but I can assure you that it was some terrible mistake on my part. A slip of the finger on the keyboard.

I love everything Beverly Cleary ever wrote, and this is no exception! Completely different from her Ramona books, intended for teens back in the day but suitable for older middle readers now, this is the story of a girl whose sister is getting married. As usual with Cleary, she takes such a simple premise and makes it f
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Laura
May 23, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was around 11 and loved it. I wanted to read it again as an adult to get a different perspective. When I was eleven, it was mid 70's, so the changes in a young woman's future weren't as drastically different as they are now. It was interesting to see Barbie's growth from wanting to get married just like her sister, to realizing that there were more options out there for her than just getting married. Ms. Cleary did a wonderful job of subtly allowing the main character and her si ...more
carissa
Recommended Ages: grades 7-10

Barbara can hardly believe her older sister is getting married. With all the excitement of wedding plans going on, Barbara can't help dreaming of the day she will be the bride. She can't wait to fall in love.

But as the big day gets closer, wedding planning often turns into family arguments. Even the bride and groom are bickering over details, and Barbara's fun-loving sister is turning into a very practical, grown-up person. Weddings are fun, but all this serious stuf
...more
Josephine
Aug 23, 2011 Josephine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Having read pretty much all of Beverly Cleary's other books, this one was something of a surprise in that it was very mundane. Not in the negative sense of the word, but after cutting my literary teeth on Ramona ("Sit here for the present.") and her other protagonists with vivid imaginations, this seemed almost startling in its prosaic detail. Dated now--18 seems awfully young to get married, and the jokes about Putting Hubby Through make me cringe--but grit your teeth and keep repeating "The bo ...more
Donnell


This may be Cleary's answer to Father of the Bride, perhaps a warning to young girls not to overly romanticize weddings and marriage.

Interesting that the bride to be lives in Stebbins Hall at UC Berkeley, the cooperative Cleary lived in for two years when she was a student at Cal. It's also where she met her husband, Clarence (at least according to Wikipedia.) Further, I think its the hall where my good friend in college lived, so I was there often.

Could not figure out where Bay View was--its
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Lydia
Jul 09, 2011 Lydia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
I read every Beverly Cleary book I could get my hands on when I was in Junior high (what most of you see as middle school).

One of the things I most notice now is how much relates to my childhood: the constant reference to an electric coffee pot; the idea that a girl should not be kissed even after multiple dates; the idea that a boy would wait for that first kiss; parents involvement with their children; calling parents Mr. and Mrs. - for children Mother and Father. But what is most noticeable a
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Mads
Jun 13, 2008 Mads rated it really liked it
A cute story--very easy and fast to read, with an interesting insight of the roles of women in the 60s. It's so different from now, just by a few decades--that a girl can seem domestic and would want to mend a shirt if she'd baked a boy cookies.

Luckily Barbara's smarter than just giving in, and so she was able to rise above that idea. The word "cooky" is so odd to me--I guess I'm used to seeing "cookie". Tootie Bodger seems like a nice guy, but I play the trombone too, so maybe I'm a little bias
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Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 STARS

"At first, Barbara isn't sure how she feels about her older sister getting married. Then, once the wedding planning goes into high gear, it becomes almost impossible for her not to imagine a wedding -- for herself! But as the big day approaches, family arguments abound and Barbara's fun-loving sister turns into a very practical, grown-up person. Barbara begins to wonder if this is what weddings are really about. If so, she may put off a romance of her own for just a little bit longer ..."
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Skedatt
Apr 09, 2009 Skedatt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Originally published in 1963--there are a lot of cultural things that I didn't know about or have nothing to do with, since times have changed. For example, lining a garbage can with newspaper instead of a garbage bag or changing from school clothes into a skirt on a daily basis. Give me my jeans any day of the week.

However, Cleary does a really good job at writing interpersonal relations. There are a lot of things that haven't changed--sibling relationships, etc. So all in all, a rather enjoya
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Jereka
Nov 11, 2011 Jereka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aili
Cute book about a 16yo girl who matures a bit while her sister prepares for her wedding.

The series is great for young teen girls because it encourages them to look past the romance and giggles of boy/girl interactions to the real point, getting to know boys for the purpose of choosing a life partner--when you're older--And for having fun.
Esther
Mar 15, 2012 Esther rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Even though this says it's book #4 you don't have to read these in any paticular order as each book has a different main character and the story lines and plot don't build upon each other. This one was cute, a little slow going...I didn't think the wedding would ever happen but enjoyable and I liked the ending quite a bit.
Melissa
Feb 24, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took a while to grow on me (I got very annoyed with both Barbara and Rosemary at first), but by the end, I was completely and totally charmed. Loved Rosemary's almost split personality--it made me giggle as she refused the traditional and then got totally sucked into it. But real love is at the center, which made it all quite satisfying.

But that first apartment! Yikes!
Ellyn
Mar 07, 2016 Ellyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never really read the Ramona books when I was a kid, but I ADORED her teen/first love series. They were written in the 1950s and early 60s, and the era was simply fascinating to me. Very telling, since I grew to be a mid-century preservationist/enthusiast/vintage nut as an adult.

But I related to the stories, too. This one was my favorite of the series. Love these books for tweens.
Kristin Boldon
Jun 18, 2012 Kristin Boldon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, but not cloying, and every time I thought it would devolve into something terrible, it didn't. Cleary lightly juggles many sides of many issues: early marriage, siblings, the lure of weddings vs. the reality of marriage (a pet topic of mine). It's written pre-Vietnam, and it shows but it's also interesting to think what might become of these characters in a few years time after the end.
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly At
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More about Beverly Cleary...

Other Books in the Series

First Love (4 books)
  • Fifteen  (First Love, #1)
  • The Luckiest Girl (First Love, #2)
  • Jean and Johnny  (First Love, #3)

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