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We Are Family! I’ve Got All My Sisters With Me!

Meghan reunites with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares.

We Are Family! I’ve Got All My Sisters With Me!

BOOK REPORT for Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Book 5) by Ann Brashares

Cover Story: Between Friends
BFF Charm: Mostly Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: WTF?
Bonus Factors: Jetsetting; 84, Charing Cross Road
Relationship Status: My Old High-School Flame

Cover Story: Between Friends

At first glance, I thought, "Oh, it's not so bad. At least there's just a pair of feet, not a headless body," but then I realized the reflection of the girl is headless. It's still not terrible, but it kind of screams, "Smug mommy book club" and that's something I wouldn't want to show in public for fear of attracting smug mommy types who want to discuss the joys of infant toilet training or something. And I don't have to worry about my friends bringing that up, so I wouldn't care if they saw the book. I will say it is a rather attractive shade of blue.

The Deal:

WELL. Let me just preface this rather thin deal section by saying if I said too much, I'd spoil a big surprise and then you'd all be mad, so all I will say is it's the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 10 years later. The four girls have all just hit the big 2-9 and they've grown apart (again). Carmen is an anorexic actress in NYC, playing Melinda Warner or something on a cop show. Bee lives in San Francisco with Eric, the deflowering soccer coach who's now an immigration lawyer. Lena's an art teacher in Rhode Island, still pining for Kostos and still scared of everything. Tibby and Brian took off for Australia and she hasn't really been heard from for 2 years, until she scripts a surprise sisterhood reunion trip to Greece. What happens in Greece shakes the women to the core, and the rest of the book is spent exploring its impact and following each one as she rediscovers herself.

BFF Charm: Mostly Yay

I gave these four my bff charm way back in the first book, and for the most part I'm happy to keep it. I do kind of hate Carmen, though, which is sad because I really liked her in the other books, and besides, it's hard to hate America Ferrera (but she's way too awesome to play this Carmen, yo). I want to extra-gold-plate my charms for Lena and Bee, though -- especially Lena. Part of the books' appeal is the way Brashares explores the girls' self-discovery, and maybe it's because I'm also shy, but I loved reading about Lena finally coming out of her shell. Maybe it's just because IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Part of me hesitates to give a very high swoon rating because I think it's kiiiind of dull the girls are all with the same boys they've been with for, like, EVER (says the woman who's married to the guy she met at 20. Shut up). But there IS one storyline that gave me some angst and flutters and definite swoons. Brashares also describes Eric as Bee's touchstone, as the one anchor in her restless life, and that's pretty sweet and sigh-inducing, if not quite swoony.

Talky Talk: WTF?

Mostly, the book goes along nicely, with places looking pretty and people doing people things and cars and trains and buses going to and fro, and it's all quite lovely. And then, right in the middle of a sentimental passage about a photo of the four Septembers, there's a phrase that pulls you out of the story with it's total WTF-ness, describing newborn Carmen as a "hunched-over grub". Or Lena trying to imagine what Bee's up to, breezing around San Francisco on her bike, doing picturesque things, and then suddenly eating "a burrito from Pancho Villa the size of a newborn baby." It's just ... weird. Here's another one:

These few days had been like a cozy foxhole dug out of time.

I don't think "cozy" when I think of a muddy hole in the ground intended to provide shelter from grenades and machine gun fire, do you? Anyway, some of the prose is great, some is rather purple, and a lot of it reads like someone just got a new thesaurus (really? You need to describe a traffic jam as "sclerosis"? That's just gross).

Bonus Factor: Jetsetting

Man, everyone is always hopping on planes in this book! Australia! Greece! London! Take me with you! I can help you avoid the sclerosis on the M4! Ok, I can't really, but I am really entertaining when you're stuck in a sclerosis!

Bonus Factor: 84, Charing Cross Road

There's a particularly great epistolary relationship in the book that gave me the same tingly swoons and "Why can't they just MEET?" feelings I always get from 84, Charing Cross Road. It's the type of letter writing that's really just one extended conversation, and so intimate.

Casting Call:

It's already been done, and I can't separate the original actresses from the characters in my head anymore, even though the first time I saw the first movie, I thought, "Rory Gilmore is totally not how I pictured Lena!" (although Alexis Bledel IS super beautiful).

Relationship Status: My Old High School Flame

We locked eyes at the open bar at the high school reunion (haha, like my high school would have an open bar. Double haha, like I'd go to the reunion). I was dying to know what he'd been up to for the last 10 years, and I had to admit he looked pretty good. I'd entertained idle daydreams of getting back together over the years, but as we started talking, I realized that initial spark wasn't ever going to turn into anything more. I'm glad we got the chance to catch up -- I really enjoyed hanging out and he's just as sweet and cute as ever -- but too much has changed since we dated for us to make a go of it a second time around, even though I loved him so much once.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Random House. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Sisterhood Everlasting is available tomorrow!

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.