Summary from BN.com: On the cusp of turning thirty, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget are now living separate lives, out on their own. Yet despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.
I became a fan of the Sisterhood books about seven years ago. I was past the age of the characters in the book but I fell in love with their story. Sure, some of the characters drove me nuts (Bee, I'm looking at you) but I loved Brashares writing and I enjoyed keeping up with the girls over the years. When the movies came out, I was both pleased and slightly disappointed with how they were portrayed. The first movie was wonderful while the second movie had me a bit annoyed with how situations were handled (I still don't understand why Tibby didn't just take a pregnancy test.) When I heard that a new book was coming out, about the girls ten years later, if this was going to be the end of the stories, I knew I wanted to read it.
Surprisingly, the pants do not make an appearance in the story. If you read the fourth book in the series, then you remember that Effie lost them causing much turmoil. I didn't really expect them to magically show up but neither does anything replace them. Let me tell you, I was shocked at the twist in the story. SHOCKED. Like I dropped my mouth open and went, "Did she [Brashares] really do that?!" And then I also realized that I was only a 1/4 way through the book. I still had a long way to go with the story.
It's been ten years so the characters have both changed in many ways while still retaining some of their trademark characteristics. The two that stand out to me the most are Lena and Bridget. Lena (and I will forever think of her as Alexis Bledel, the same with Bridget = Blake Lively) has always been this waif of a character who never seems to know what she really wants. She keeps being very wishy washy throughout the story especially involving Kostos (yes, him again!) and it was starting to drive me nuts. Bridget has always gotten on my nerves. I know she's supposed to be an independent spirit and I understand why she acts the way she does due to her background. But I'm tired of hearing about the comments about her hair and how it attracts men. I also wasn't pleased with how she's treated Eric throughout the series. Eventually both these characters do grow up and I really liked the transformation. However, it also came with a FINALLY on my behalf. I'm about the same age as the characters in the book (they are a bit older than me) but yet I still felt more mature than them.
Overall, I feel the story holds well for long time fans of the book. I suppose it could be read as a stand alone but I really don't think those readers will get as much out of it as those who read the previous books. I felt many emotions while reading this book. I am almost positive that this is the final Sisterhood book as I feel that to squeeze any more stories from these characters would be stretching it. Therefore I closed the book feeling satisfied and like the Sisterhood, full of wisdom and experience and ready to move on and live life after the pants.
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares is published by Random House (2011)
This ARC was provided by the Amazon Vine program