After a few weeks of feeling flat, tired and generally off I have found myself drawn to reading simple books, books I have read before and books that I would consider an easy read. This series fits the bill leading me to bring you this new type of post: Series Spotlights. Over the coming months I’m planning on bringing your attention to some series, as a whole, that I believe are worth a read and that may not get the attention I feel they deserve. First up is the Sisterhood series. The first four books were a staple of teenage/young adult years. When the fifth instalment, Sisterhood Everlasting, came along in 2011 I thought all my dreams had come true. My initial reaction upon reading it was not so positive but now with plenty of distance I have decided to reread them all, one after another, to bring to you a review (spoiler-free, of course) of the series as a whole.
The premise of the original quartet was simple: four girls, friends from the womb, have spent just about every waking minute of their lives together. Until the first summer of the sisterhood when they stumble upon a pair of magical pants. A pair of pants than not only fits them but flatters each of the very different girls: tall, muscled Bridget, straight-up and down Tibby, beautiful, petite Lena and curvaceous Carmen. Just as they were contemplating their first summer apart they delivered a way of staying connected with each other. The books each follow a summer, both together and apart, as the girls grow and learn. Sisterhood Everlasting picks up years down the track, the final conclusion to the story of the girls.
This series is your typical coming of age story, except you get not just one, but four distinct characters. The beauty of this is the series is able to portray four very different characters, each with their own flaws, struggles and triumphs so presumable most people would be able to identify with at least one of the characters, if not multiple aspects of several. Each of the girls is truly unique. Each loveable and survey a bunch of readers and each one will have a different favourite. There is much to be learned from each of the characters as the book progress and the first four definitely give you great insight into the lives of teenage girls. Furthermore the books explore the depths of relationships. Relationships between friends, relationships with boys, relationships with siblings and relationships with parents in a variety of different situations. There really is so much to be gained in life lessons from each of the girls. I would definitely recommend this series to all teenage girls just trying to survive life. You find yourself falling in love with each of the characters rooting for them and the foundations of their friendships throughout the original four books.
Leading us to the fifth instalment. I’m not going to lie, the fifth book started off on the wrong foot once again for me. I found it quite grating as the characters are not at all where I expected them to be. However, I pushed on and found I settled into the book much more than last time and in all honesty ended up enjoying most of the read. There are still issues I have with the book. In particular what she did with one of the character, it felt they were more childish and immature than the original four books negating any of the lessons learnt in her younger years. Although I now have more of an appreciation for the final part of their story. This is still a beautiful conclusion to a well-loved story that celebrates the importance of friendship and love in your life. This book takes some twists and turns that polarises readers but I would encourage anyone to finish the series and to at least make up their own minds about how Brashares chooses to conclude their story.
Overall I feel this series is definitely worth a read to any young adult fiction fans. There is so much enjoyment to be had following these intricate and unforgettable characters. Life lessons aplenty also make it a wise choice for a younger audience but I suspect anyone can fall in love with these books. Do yourself a favour and pick up the Sisterhood at some stage and report back to me your thoughts. I would give the series as a whole four pairs of blue jeans, one for each of the girls.