Recently I read the 4 books in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series as well as 3 Willows, which is a spin-off of the series.  The books are written by Ann Brashares.  I had seen part of the movie starring Alexis Bledel as Lena, Amber Tamblyn as Tibby, America Ferrera as Carmen, and Blake Lively as Bridget.  I didn’t realize there is actually a second movie as well until after I read the series. (I will have to rent them both soon)

The books follow the summers of “The Septembers” a group of girls who were born friends as their mothers had all met during their pregnancy and all the Moms were due in September.  They are spending one of their first summers apart – Lena is off to Greece with her sister to visit her Grandparents, Tibby is stuck home working and babysitting her (much) younger siblings, Carmen is going south to spend time with her father and Bridget is off to soccer camp!

Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of pants and somehow it fits all of the girls perfectly. (All the girls are not the same size – Carmen is a full figured latina, Bee is very tall, etc) They make a pact to send the pants to each other throughout the summer and then meet up and discuss the luck the pants brought them after the summer is over.  The pants would make them feel like the others were with them when they were wearing them.

The books follow all the trials and tribulations of teenagers finishing high school and starting college as well as the added stresses of first loves, divorced and remarrying parents, helping your family grieve over a lost parent, etc.  One of my friends (who I have known since I was born!) recommended that I read these because she said they would be “easy, fun reads”  She did not warn me that I would not only laugh at some of the situations that these girls got themselves into – but I would cry as well!

All of the books are around 300 pages in length, and would be categorized as Young Adult. I flew through them because I kept wanting to know what would happen next. They totally screwed up my sleep schedule for a week or two!

After finishing the 4 “Sisterhood” books, chronicling 4 summers of the Sisterhoods lives, I found out about “3 Willows” which was subtitled ‘The Sisterhood  Grows’  I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I read it next.  Honestly, I could have done without the book entirely as part of the series.  The only member of the Sisterhood who actually made an appearance in the book was Lena – and it was only for a very brief moment.  Her sister Effie is in it, however, she is really rotten in it!  In the other books I didn’t really have a problem with Effie but I was definitely not a fan of her in 3Willows.

The book follows Polly, Ama and Jo – 3 girls who attend the same high school as the Sisterhood.  The Sisterhood is some sort of “legend” in the school.  The girls are mentioned here and there.  I could have done without this and I think that the book would have been better received by me if it was an entirely different story with no ties to the Sisterhood.

I am not sure if 3 Willows will continue on to a series – but I think I would like it much better if any references to the Sisterhood were just dropped.  The story lines of Polly – who went off to Modeling camp, Ama – who was off camping and completely out of her element and Jo – who started drama at her summer job on the beach – all kept me interested enough on their own and I am sure any future adventures of the trio would keep me just as entertained without it having to be linked to the other series.

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