Deborah's Reviews > Sisterhood Everlasting

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
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Apr 16, 12

bookshelves: for-grown-ups, series
Read in June, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Okay, this is not really going to be a kind review. I'm not trying to sound mean or like a weirdo Internet commenter, but there are some things that really ticked me off about this book.

So there's a spoiler that all Traveling Pants fans knew about months ago, one that you can read pretty easily online, and that many have, but if you don't know and want to read the book, stop reading here! And if you do know the major spoiler, there are more revealed below, so just take care if you do want to read the book!

SPOILERS COMMENCE

So I found out from my mother who read it in a Kirkus review a few months ago that Tibby dies in this book. Upon finding out, I was in a state of shock, and for days went around telling people "TIBBY DIES!!!" yes, including people who never read a Traveling Pants book. I considered not bothering to read the books, but I didn't think I could ever skip a Pants book. But it turns out that Tibby's death is the least bothersome thing in this book. It's easiest to explain by pretending that I'm the dust jacket of the books back when they were still YA and going character by character:

Carmen: always my favorite character, now a successful TV actress engaged to a producer that none of her friends like. Here's the jist of what Carmen's character has become -- she's horrible because she has an iPhone. Seriously, the others all look down on her because in this universe only shallow, terrible people use (shudder) iPhones!!! So instead of focusing deeply on things that are a concern like her being engaged to someone she doesn't really love, or how she barely eats anymore the biggest concern is that she uses an iPhone. But don't worry -- she becomes a better person when she meets a widowed man and his two children on a train and gives up acting. All because her iPhone doesn't work. Seriously all iPhone users, Ann Brashares is sending you a message!

Lena: always my least favorite character, she's still pining for Kostos. Sigh. Enough already is what I thought when I first read her storyline, but this surprised me by turning out to be one of the better storylines in the book.

Bridget: Oh this really annoyed me. No actually, made me angry. So while grieving for Tibby (in a very erratic way that I kind of hoped they would explore more) Bee discovers that she's pregnant. Sigh. We all know that of course she'll have the baby. Much like television characters, book characters never have abortions. But the way she comes about making her decision is just such a bizarrely anti choice scene that I could barely believe -- I can only quote -- "Bridget thought about the thing in her uterus, not a thing, but a person, a soul, and she felt chastened. Just look what she was willing to do. Had been willing to do." You hear that pregnant ladies? That's a soul you're carrying, and don't you dare even think about not having it. Then she cries, ". . . for the people like herself , grimly forsaking what few precious gifts they would ever get." I can forgive Ann Brashares for killing off a character, but I don't know if I can forgive her for forcing a stance like this into her book. As I said, no surprise that Bridget would keep the baby, but could we have had a different way of arriving at this decision please rather than condemning anyone who would consider not carrying an unplanned pregnancy?

And then there's Tibby: oh Tibby, even in death, you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, just like you did in the other books. After some thought, I've decided not to reveal the real key to why Tibby dies (those who already know some of the spoilers may know that it's speculated that Tibby may have drowned on purpose). But I will say as someone who has spent most of her life watching soap operas, the the real reason behind Tibby's death is ripped from some of the weakest soap opera storylines. I can't really reveal more except to say that her death could have been a strong storyline was weakened and cheapened by the true circumstances. Also Tibby -- way to write elaborate, long meaningful letters to all your friends (well except Carmen, but she's a shallow iPhone user) but leave nothing for your parents and siblings. Reeeaaaal Nice.

So overall, I didn't think I would love this book the way I loved the others, but I also didn't think I would hate it. This series is another one that helped gain YA some much needed respect, so it feels even more personal to me to have had some of my favorite characters used this way.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by zara (new)

zara under what circumstances does tibby die? and I suppose kostos leaves the other girl for lena? you can tell me, I don't care.


Jenna Tibby's parents and siblings were at the farm at the end (though we didn't get to "see," they were mentioned) so I was under the impression that they did get some beyond-the-grave communication from her.


T.Say I hated this book.


Elizabeth Ray Ha ha that whole iPhone thing is pretty funny.


message 5: by Blueskyred (new)

Blueskyred I was annoyed by the anti-choice message too. It's her book and she can make her own choices about her life and story but it felt like kind of a trick after 4 books...


Deborah That's exactly how I felt. After loving this series since it began, it was shocking to see it become that kind of soap box.


message 7: by Blueskyred (new)

Blueskyred Yup. I also agree with you in that Lena was my least favorite character as well. She seems to be everyone else's favorite! But in this book her story was the best- I think because everyone else's story was so weak!


Deborah You're definitely right! It wasn't even that it was a good storyline, just really the least weak of all of them. It was also the only one that really translated well from YA to adult book format.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

i absolutely agree that in books i cannot stand ignorant opinions on abortions. I mean its not necessarily a choice I would consider but that isn't something for an individual to impose on others.


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