Sarah's Reviews > Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares
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Oct 07, 07

bookshelves: teen, novel, sisterhood-of-the-traveling-pants
Read in January, 2007

I heard a few mixed reviews of this book, so I was a little concerned, but I honestly loved the fourth installment in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Brashares. Most substantive complaints I've seen have been disappointment at earlier promising story lines being dropped (not that that's anything new for the series), complaints about the larger presence of adult content (hello, they're growing up), or believe that the characters do not act like themselves (I'm sure starting college hasn't made anyone else act weird before). I guess I was surprised that it wasn't more conclusive. It just seemed like another book in the series to me. I honestly liked everyone's story line even if some of them made me upset or anxious or weren't what I would have done in the same situation.
I don't even know where to begin talking about this book. It made me feel so much, but I'm not sure how to right down those feelings into anything meaningful for the rest of you to read. It felt just as good as all the others to me, so it's no wonder that I did the whole thing in less than 24 hours (which is only a little faster than I read the other 3).

Things I liked:
We finally get to see more of Bridget's dad and brother. I always wondered why we never really saw any of them, while everyone else's family got explored at some point. I get that it was intentional, I just thought it would have been stupid for her to end the series without B at least trying to bring them all back together again.
Brian and Tibby stay together. Is Brian the best boyfriend or what?
Carmen acting: That's so perfect for her.

Things I loved even though they made me uncomfortable:
Tibby's whole story line: Like so many of the experiences in these books, I so felt like I'd been there and done that, even though it's really more bits and pieces from different parts of my life all thrown together. But I get the irrational fears and the not wanting to talk to a single person about it because you hope it will all go away before you have to tell anyone, because telling someone would be absolutely mortifying.
Lena and Kostos: I have no idea how I feel about them being together or not being together, I just know I love reading about their journey. Sometimes I feel like I identify best with shy Lena who has the totally surprising and hidden passionate streak, so I think I've always loved her story just because it sometimes feels so much like it's about me. It sucked when Kostos broke her heart, but it made me want to keep reading to see how she'd get over it & I was so happy to see her get over it to the point that she could be ugly and unloveable and yell at Kostos. I think that's why I don't care now if they get together or not. They've both proved that they've gotten over the past and can start over fresh if they like, or move on if that works better.
Carmen's self-confidence failure: I've always had trouble identifying with Carmen because she'd start to do something like I would and then do something completely different than I would, so I'd feel faked out by her actions. This time, I totally get her. In high school she still had her traditional support system around so she could be brave Carmen (the part I don't get) even though she did still worry about keeping people's love. Once she went off to college, though, she was totally on her own. Plus she's never had her mom to herself since she got married and had Ryan and now they're moving out of the apartment Carmen grew up in ... totally understand why her self-confidence left her and she picked up a toxic friend disguised in sheep's clothing. I hated watching the way Julia treated her, but I got that it was going to take something big to get her to see how fake she was. Sidenote: I kept picturing Carmen as Ugly Betty throughout this book. I had to keep reminding myself that Carmen's a bigger fox than Betty, but then again, if she wanted to turn invisible that would be a pretty good way to do it.
Things that surprised me:
Bridget seducing yet another older man she shouldn't: I never got it the first time, I still don't get it. I've never been much of a flirt at all, though, so I guess that's part of the reason I don't understand it.
Bridget's interest in archaelogy: totally out of left field, but I guess it's pretty cool.
Lena & Leo's brief affair: I've never been able to love so casually, but I guess I'm glad it helped her get over Kostos.
all the sex & drinking: It wasn't gratuitous or anything and it all made sense in the story, but I guess I've always thought of these as kid's books even though they've never really pulled any punches as far as that stuff goes. I'm okay with it, I guess I just forgot how much the sisterhood has grown up.
what happened to the pants: Although I guess something had to make them all move on.
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