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

Published: 13th June 2006Goodreads badge
Pages: 338 pages
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

It’s the summer before the sisterhood departs for college . . . their last real summer together before they head off to start their grown-up lives. It’s the time when Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen need their Pants the most.

Three books in and I’ve realised the words to describe this series is feel good. These books were written before the big YA take off, and are most of the time a feel good story with teen drama and selfishness, family life, angst, and the wholesomeness of doing bad things and then learning your lesson. This is a broad statement having read three out of the five, and knowing that there are deep moments and serious issues discussed and explored in them. This also could be said of a number of current YA books, but this feels very…wholesome and just nice.

Bee almost seems better after infuriating me in the first book, the rest have their own moments of frustration and annoyance so no one really escapes. No one seems to have grown up much; their world just seems to have different events around them. Carmen is still a little selfish and a brat, but maybe less so than before. There are certainly unbelievable parts but it was enjoyable. It was nice, it was wholesome. The usual eye rolls and annoying behaviours but I’ve come to expect that from these girls and Brashare’s story. Overdramatic Carmen seemed to be the main issue again this time round but all four girls seem to have some crisis they need to work through, an emotional journey of their own.

As for the Pants; from the second book I have been suspect of these magic jeans. Having been worn by four people for three months (granted not continuously), then left to fester for practically a year, they then are worn again but girls who still magically fit them and the cycle continues. Now, magic Pants aside, what state are these jeans in? Does the magic ward off the smell? Here we are in our third year, three years older and it’s still fine? Bee describes the Pants in one scene saying “their presence now lent a particular sweetness to the air even stronger than the wafting smell of honeysuckle.” I’m sure there’s a stronger scent than that hanging around them. But I am going widely off point.

I liked Lena’s development. She worked out what she wanted to do, she went against what her father wanted her to do and she seems at peace with what happened in the previous books. I feel like much of Lena’s story before was about Kostas, now it’s more about herself and what she is doing. Tibby also grew up a little, discovering what real friends are, making real films with substance. All of this is very shallow; Brashares’ doesn’t really make these books to in-depth. Whether that’s because she is splitting it between four points of view, or whether it just feels like these big emotions are both brushed over and minor things are drawn out it unbalances the whole thing. Even knowing about some big changes in the girls’ lives I felt like nothing much happens.

I will keep reading just to see where this goes. I’ve accepted the Brashares’ writing style and know what to expect but I just need to see now how much more she is going to try to put into these books (emotional angst and random events included) when I feel so much of this book wasn’t necessary.

You can purchase Girls in Pants via the following

Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Fishpond


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