October 08, 2011

Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares

This book improved itself compared to the 2nd one in the series. As the third book its not really necessary to read the other two first, but it does help provide background for this one. The most important thing is that Bridget, Tibby, Carmen, and Lena have been friends all their lives. On the verge of beginning summer two years ago, they discovered magical pants (ok so not really magical, but astounding) that fit all of them perfectly. With these pants they spent each summer going through difficulties, finding love, and remaining true to their friendships.

It is the third summer and once again the girls are all finding their way. Bridget is at a soccer camp where much to her surprise, a fellow counselor just happens to be a guy she slept with two years ago. She has to discover her true feelings about him and not crash into a mess like she did the previous year. Tibby struggles with her feelings for her friend Brian and those towards her family. When her sister has an accident, it really makes her reevaluate how she feels about everyone. Carmen is not sure where she fits in when she learns that her mom is having a baby with her new husband. While she ponders this and cares for Lena's grandmother, she meets a pretty stupendous guy who she is afraid to let know the real her. Lastly, Lena wants to go to art school and has to struggle to reach that dream when her father says no after stumbling in to her nude model class. She also still pines away for Kostos.

The girls were developed much better in this book. My only complaint on characterization would be Lena's father. Since he is constantly referred to as Greek and compared with that heritage, it seems very surprising to me that he would deny his daughter art school based on nude models. There is just too much wonderful artwork from that culture for it to be believable. An outstanding character on the other side, would be Lena's grandmother. Bashares did a great job of expressing her grief and pain at all the recent adjustments the poor woman had to make.

The writing has improved and is not quite as juvenile as it was in the second book. Its still wholly appropriate for young adults, but regular adults can enjoy it too.

There's only one more book in the series so I'll probably end up reading it. Its a good look back on how it felt to be a teenager.

Girls in Pants
Copyright 2005
338 pages

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