Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Okay, this is going to be slightly different - in preparation for reading Sisterhood Everlasting, I wanted to reread the 'original' Sisterhood books. It's been a while since I read them, and I wanted to refresh my memory of where things stood when the story left off. I didn't plan to write a 'real' review of them - and yet, I didn't want to leave them unmentioned either. So, this is a 'group review' of sorts: my thoughts on the books as a series, rather than each individual book. It's fitting, in a way, because I've always considered them as a single, all-encompassing unit: whenever a new one was published, I'd reread all the others before letting myself read the newest installment. In this rereading, I'm loving seamlessly going from book to book - finishing each in a few days, and picking the next one up immediately. It's the preferred method for reading through a series, and for this one it's particularly interesting. Plus, I think it makes the story - the overall story - a stronger one.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post...and I couldn't agree more. It's a fantastic series that just works so well on both an overall story and a look at real life from a safer distance. Thanks for sharing your experience with the Septemebers...here's to many more. ^_^