A sparkling breath of fresh air, this book captures the spirit of friendship in the most charming and sauciest manner possible.
The book is a far cry from the regular breed of YA novels which seem to dwell on the fixed notions that young girls basically fall into two main groups: One, the hatefully pretty, perpetually scheming Prom Queens with their nastier than “week-ol’ milk” cliques! And at the other end of the rainbow, the brave under-dog...not much to look at, the general do-gooder, the faithful confidante and to nicely round it off, more often than not, armed with an IQ formidable enough to gain entry into MENSA.
Breaking the age-old mould with insouciance, Ann Brashares creates a world where it is possible for four friends, as different as chalk and cheese to form a deeply satisfying friendship. They care for each other, love each other, put aside fights and misunderstandings with a careless shrug and offer unstinted, non-judgmental support any time, everytime.
Lena, the reluctant beauty; feisty, big-tushied Carmen; the anti-everything, mad-at-the-world Tibby and the over-achieving, statuesque athlete Bridget are friends; literally since birth (their mums shared a preggers-aerobics class). Having grown up in each other’s pockets, along comes a summer when the four are parted for the first time. Lena is off to Greece to meet her grandparents; Carmen to spend some quality time with her divorced dad in South Carolina; Bridget to Baja, California for summer camp and Tibby, the impotent rebel is stuck at home, cutting a minimum wage at Wallman’s.
A well-worn pair of soft jeans bought at a thrift-shop by Carmen but never-tried becomes an unexpected bond to hold the four pals together. Despite their vastly different body proportions, the seemingly-magical pair of jeans fits each of them like a dream……hugging the right curves, resting gracefully on the varying waistlines, making each teen feel sexy and infusing them with much-needed confidence.
They make a pact (complete with a set of serious-cum-nonsensical rules) to circulate the pants amongst themselves throughout their vacation, passing it on when the time is right. Thus begins the saga of the Sisterhood……
As the long, glorious summer unravels, the pants become a source and symbol of the generous support which the sisterhood provides to each of the four buddies as they face unwieldy situations. Sucker-punched by new emotions, the friends absorb confidence from their ever-reliable ‘magical pants’. For each, the pants seem to be infused with the strength and support of their fellow friends.
Brimming with energy and vitality, the book effortlessly hops between the four friends as they deal with life, love and all-things ‘teen-achy’. One of the best coming-of-age books in a long time, it’s a must read for everyone who is-a-teen, was-a-teen and will soon be-a-quakin’ in your boots-teen.
It’s a tough world out there, but when you got your SIST –AHS, life’s just a wee bit more bearable.