Sunday, April 02, 2006

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

Another year has passed and four friends are about to begin their summer adventures. However, this year it is a little difference, because this is the year that they have finished high school and in September they will all be going off to college - all different colleges.

Bridget is going off to soccer camp. Two summers ago she was at soccer camp in Mexico, and to say that things ended badly is an understatement. She is however now much stronger, particularly after spending the previous summer with her grandmother in Alabama. When she arrives at camp though, Bridget is surprised to find that Eric is there as well. Can she find a way to just be friends with him? Does he still have feelings for her, and is there a chance that if they do things the right way this time there might be a future for them.

Lena is still pretty much moping around about Kostos (following up from events in the previous book) as far as love goes, but she has been working hard at getting ready to go to Art School, including taking art classes, fitting them around her new part time job at a restaurant. When her father finds Lena sketching a nude model as part of the art class, he tells her that he is withdrawing all support for her art college so in order to fulfill her dream she must find a way to get there herself. To complicate matters, Lena's grandmother has come to live with the family, but she really misses her friends and her life in Greece, and everyone feels miserable.

Tibby is staying home this summer, getting reading to go off to film school in New York. When Brian asks her to be his date...his proper date...Tibby finally realises that he really likes her, and that she thinks she feels the same way. Tibby does, however spend much of the book running away from her feelings for Brian, especially after her little sister Katherine severely injures herself because of something that Tibby blames herself for.

Carmen finds that she has a job looking after Lena's grandmother, which is beginning to be a real chore, especially because she won't allow Carmen to watch the soaps that she wants to watch. When her charge injures herself, Carmen finds herself spending quite a bit of time at the hospital. She ends up there again when she finds herself attending antenatal classes with her mother whose new husband David is working a lot and isn't able to make it to the classes. Another time, Carmen is at the hospital with Tibby's sister, taking her for her checkup. Several times whilst at the hospital Carmen meets a young man named Win who is pre-med. Carmen is attracted to Win, but Carmen is concerned that he isn't seeing the real Carmen, but rather that he only sees the good Carmen, the one who isn't selfish, or bratty. It takes a wild ride trying to track down David in time for the baby's birth for Carmen to realise that he really likes her, whichever side of herself she happens to be showing.

As the four friends get ready to face their future apart, there is just enough time to spend time looking back over their lives, with a promise that they will always be there for each other in the future, and then another curtain in their lives comes down. For me, this book felt like closure in many ways. There were still a couple of unresolved issues, such as will Carmen and Paul ever get together, but in many ways it felt like the end for me. Maybe it isn't, but even if it is, I am glad to have met The Septembers and shared in their adventures for three summers!

Rating 4/5

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