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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

In: English and Literature

Submitted By 14angie14
Words 1958
Pages 8
Angela Jamison
Mr. Grubbs
Y.A. Literature
12 October 2012

Ann Brashares was born in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She became an editor when she decided to take a year off of school, but stayed there because she loved her job so much. She then wrote her first book, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ("Ann Brashares author bio"). She said she got the idea from talking with a friend who shared a story about a summer where her and her friends shared a pair of jeans ("Ann Brashares author bio"). The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is about how four very different best friends find a pair of jeans that fit all of them. They decide the jeans are magic because they are all different sizes. Carmen is bigger, Lena is tiny, Tibby is normal sized, and Bridgett is athletic, tall, and lean. So, if the jeans fit all of them, then they must be magic. They decide to share the jeans over the summer and send them to each other throughout the summer because they will all be in different places. Lena went to Greece to see meet her grandparents, Bridgett went to Mexico for soccer camp, Carmen went to visit her father, and poor Tibby was left working at the local grocery store. However, this summer would change all of their lives. For the most part, each one of them experiences a search for love even if they did not mean to. Lena fell in love with someone while in Greece, Bridgett with a soccer camp counselor, Carmen re-established her relationship with her father, and Tibby gained a new friend who she loved deeply and did not even know it until the end. Along the way with their search for love, other things happened, good, bad, not so horrible, etc. However, no matter what happens along the way, their search for love affects their whole summers more than they ever think it will. Lena’s search for love is accidental. She is so gorgeous and she hates it. She feels like everyone stares at her because she is so beautiful. She tries to hide her beauty and in doing so, she becomes so shy and introverted. Her search for love is accidental because she keeps getting set up by her family. The women in her family think she needs to find a good man to marry so they keep setting her up. She does not want to go on these dates because she is so scared to find love. Throughout the book, Lena tries more and more to avoid Kostas even though she actually likes him. She is scared she will never be loved, nor love anyone even though she is beautiful: “Can you make yourself love? Can you make yourself be loved?”(Brashares). She worries Kostas will be like every other guy out there and is only interested in her appearance. During the book, she goes skinny dipping thinking she is all alone and Kostas sees her. She thinks that he was spying on her and tells her grandmother, causing a big fight between the two families. However, the more Lena decides she likes Kostas, the more she is inclined to tell everyone the truth. Finally, she tells everyone the truth because she cannot stand it anymore and then the two families are the best of friends again. Lena then gets advice from her younger sister, who tells her to not regret not going after Kostas when her sister can clearly see that Lena is in love. Lena does something she’s never done before, she opens her heart to someone else, and turns out, and he opens his heart to her too. Next, is Carmen’s love adventure. Carmen is trying to reunite with her father and is so excited. She plans on playing tennis with him every day and talking to him and becoming the best of friends. She had only gotten to see him Christmases before this so she is excited to have a whole summer to herself. However, when she arrives to her father, it turns out he is engaged and has two children he is going to adopt. Carmen feels as if she does not fit in. They are all white, blonde hair, blue eyed people. Carmen is Puerto Rican and takes after her mother with her roundish figure while they are all skinny and athletic. When going to try on dresses for the upcoming wedding, it turns out, Carmen is too big for her dress and the dressmaker makes a huge deal out of it, causing Carmen to be upset and leave. She heads to the house and no one brings it up at dinner. Because of this, Carmen feels like she is being ignored so she leaves the house for several hours. Expecting her father to come look for her, she comes back but sees that he is not looking for her so she throws a rock through the window and goes back to her mother’s house. Eventually, Tibby lets her know that she is mad at her father and not his new family. She calls her father and tells him. They cry together and then she surprises him by showing up to the wedding. They ended up reuniting after all. Thirdly, is Tibby, who was stuck in the hometown, working at the local grocery store, called Wallmans. Tibby ended up meeting a twelve year old girl named Bailey through her passing out in the store. Tibby called 911 and then they were friends ever since (Bailey following her around until Tibby got used to it). Tibby found out Bailey had leukemia and was not well. At first Tiibby was nicer to Bailey and Bailey became angry telling her to treat her normally. So she did. They shot a documentary together the whole summer. Tibby was going to use the documentary to show how much better her life was than others, but Bailey took over the interviews and actually got to know the people. Because of this, Tibby found out that these people she always thought she was better than were actually great people. These people were lonely, dedicated, had amazing life stories, waiting to get out. Bailey was able to get that out of them and Tibby respected her for it and had a new awe for her. By the end of the summer, Bailey however, takes a turn for the worst. Tibby refuses to believe it and will not accept it. She does not go to visit Bailey until Carmen finally gives her the pants and tells her to go. They give her courage that she does not have: “They gave her courage. The Pants mysteriously held the attributes of her three best friends, and luckily bravery was one of them. She would give the Pants what meager gifts she had, but courage was the thing she would take.” (Brashares). Tibby does and realizes that she should have gone sooner so she could spend more time with her. Bailey finally passes away. Tibby was not expecting to find anything this summer but was probably changed the most. She grew up, became mature, made a friend she will never forget, and lost someone close to her in death. She finally had to accept death although she did not want to. Lastly, is Bridget. Bridget is the awesome soccer star who is always high on energy and up for anything. Her psychiatrist worried that her one track mind would eventually get her into trouble, and trouble she gets in indeed. Bridget goes to a soccer camp in Mexico. Upon arrival, she immediately spots one of the camp counselors: nineteen year old Eric. Bridget decides that she must have him. So, she continually chases him, by being flirty, showing off at soccer, and alluring him. They go on a couple of runs together, and at the end of one run, she runs right into the ocean sexily. He follows. He at first tries to resists all of her passes, including one at the bar. Eric and his friends all go to the bar to go dancing and drinking so Bridget decides to go with her friends. Eric dances with her for a few seconds then realizes he cannot. He respects the rules, whereas Bridget has no care for them. Because of her carefree nature, she gets hurt. Eventually, he does not say no to her passes and they come together for a night. We don’t really know what happened but were lead to believe they had sex. After a while he noticed how upset she was and tried to make her feel better: “Whether he spoke the truth or not, he thought he could make her feel better, and he really, really wanted to. But it wasn’t what she needed. Her need was as big as the stars, and he was down there on the beach, so quiet she could hardly hear him.” (Brashares). At that point, nothing could make her feel better, including Eric himself. Bridget becomes severely depressed like her mother did years ago. Her friends become very worried. Bridget’s mother was severely depressed when she was growing up and it lead directly to her death. Bridget’s friends were always able to keep her in check but could not whiles separated over the summer. Bridget was the only one who had a “bad” experience with her search for love. She sought after Eric thinking that he would love her too. He had an experience with her and then pretended nothing happened, which she was not happy about. She thought about on a few occasions what her psychiatrist had said but did not listen to it and continued to chase after Eric. Tibby had an overall great experience. She does not regret meeting Bailey because she introduced her to so many new people that she would have never have gotten to know. She will miss Bailey dearly, but always carry her with her. Carmen was able to reunite with her father in her search for love. She at first was so angry at him and towards his new family because he wanted them over her it seemed. She was not happy about this, so she rebelled and finally called her dad out on it. However, they still got over it and got together. Lena was able to overcome her shyness and tell Kostas that she liked him. She finally opened up her heart to someone and ended up getting her first kiss out of the deal as well. Young adults can learn a lot from this book. They can learn how to deal with love correctly, deal with death, and even learn how to speak with their parents if they have problems like Carmen. If they don’t, then they can better understand other people who go through situations like these. This book would be great for a class because there could be a fun assignment involving decorating jean pocket wallets, as well as teach them the importance of friendship, and the right way to love. There are a few more books in this series that continue on all four girls’ stories. It tells of how their lives continue on over the next few summers, how their friendship grows closer, and at times drifts apart. They learn secrets about each other and help each other through hardships, just like in the first book. It would be a great way for young adult females to come together and discuss each book.

Works Cited
"Ann Brashares author bio." Book reviews: Find the best new books. Book Browse, 19 June 2011. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.
Brashares, Ann. The sisterhood of the traveling pants. New York: Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books, 2001. Print.

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