Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
My thoughts...Oh man. Where to begin? I remember the first time I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I was working with the Children's Librarian at my local library (since closed down, sad day), and it came in the batch of new books. I pounced, and she let me have it immediately. (There are major perks to being in the know!) I was fascinated by the concept, the characters, everything. I was even turning 16 myself that summer, so the Septembers could have been my friends. From then, I grew faster than the story was published, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing - and it certainly didn't deter me from reading the series through completion. I own a matching set of paperbacks, and my University library actually bought Girls in Pants when it was published on my recommendation. With the rereading, I'm remembering all the other times I read these novels - but I'm also rediscovering bits of them, and myself, along the way.
The story is as familiar and comfortable as a well-loved pair of jeans (permit me the phrase, it just works), and I found myself cringing and laughing alongside Carmen, Lena, Tibby and Bee as they had revelations and misadventures. I saw in their stories and struggles a reflection of my own journey through life. I think that's partially why I loved these novels so well as they were written: by reading them, I was able to see myself, without having to look straight-on at things I was dealing with. And there's some seriously heavy stuff in here! As I get older, I am always a little 'startled' to find just how much "weight" there is to literature for young[er] people. Part of me cringes, and a greater part of me embraces it - because I'm a living example of reading to understand my world, myself. And life is heavy.
The Sisterhood series is definitely one I'm glad I own, happy to reread, and plan to hang on to for years to come. Maybe one day I'll have a daughter I can pass them along to. I may have out-aged them, but the Septembers are still my friends.