Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

With unravelled embroidery and fraying hems, the Travelling Pants are back for one last, glorious summer. Join Ann Brashare's beloved sisterhood once again in a dazzling, fearless novel. It's a summer that will forever change the lives of Lena, Carmen, Bee and Tibby, here and now, past and future, together and apart.

LENA: Immerses herself in her painting and an intoxicating summer fling, fearing the moment she forgets about Kostos will be the moment she sees him again.

CARMEN: Falls under the spell of a sophisticated college friend for whom a theatrical role means everything and the heritage of the Pants means nothing.

BRIDGET: Joins a dig for an ancient city off the coast of Turkey and discovers that her archaeology professor is available in every way except one.

TIBBY: Leaves behind someone she loves, wrongly believing he will stay where she has left him.

Join Ann Brashares beloved sisterhood once again in a dazzling, fearless novel. It's a summer that will forever change the lives of Lena, Carmen, bee and Tibby, here and now, past and future, together and apart.

This is the fourth and final book in the uber successful Travelling Pants series by Ann Brashares. I have reviews on my blog for the second and third books, and it has been interesting to read back through those two previous reviews in preparation for writing this one. In particular, I made comment that the third book felt in many ways like closure to me, so it was with some relief that I enjoyed this book, and didn't feel as though the author was just going through the motions in order to spin the series out to one last book.

Once again, Brashares does a great job of focusing on issues that are prevalent in the target age group, like peer pressure, finding your own identity and young love. This book was however much more sexually suggestive with two characters losing their virginity, a pregnancy scare, a near affair with a married man amongst other things. I therefore whether or not the suggested age group of age 13 plus is too young or not. That really does sound like a mum talking doesn't it!

Brashares once again has her characters travelling all over the place, and again I ask can American kids just up and travel all over the world on a whim? I guess that the four friends are older now but I remember wondering that in previous books as well. I guess the four girls are representative of middle class America, but it still surprises me! Part of that maybe that the fact that I am in Australia where it take so long to get to anywhere else in the world.

Overall, this was a fitting conclusion to the series. With the fate of the pants in doubt it is likely that they have gone onto weave their magic in other girl's lives, which is a really nice parting thought!

Rating 3.5/5


  1. I agree that this book isn't really for younger girls anymore.

    I'm noticing that children's and YA series authors are pushing the age limits as their characters grow up. Harry Potter for example, has a definite shift upward in the age of its audience with each book that was released -- the last one wouldn't be something I'd read to an 8 year old!

    I think it makes sense that the themes get more mature as the girls in Brashares' series mature. But that was a lot of maturing for 4 girls! I liked this book -- I thought it was a good read, but not as good as the others before it.

  2. I agree that it makes sense that the series matures with it's readers, the problem is that there will not only be the existing readers reading the book. There will be new younger readers as well!

  3. I loved this series, and especially the fact that the characters change and grow. I used to hate those series where nothing ever seemed to have the slightest effect on the characters, and every book was like starting all over again. My library classifies all 4 books as YA - there is definitely "mature" content in all of them, even the first (at soccer camp). I don't think these make nearly the age of audience leap that the HP books do, but I guess there are only 4 years here - if they'd started when the girls were ten or eleven, that would be a different story!