Title: Forever in Blue
Author: Ann Brashares
Published: 2007, Delacorte
Category: Young Adult
The fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book. Because teen fiction is for grown-ups sometimes too.
Bridget, Lena, Tibby, and Carmen are now in the summer after their first year in college. Like always, they're scattered about for the summer, with the magical traveling pants being mailed back and forth among them. Lena is in art school in Rhode Island, painting portraits of a hottie classmate and trying to forget about Kostos, the love of her life who got away. Tibby is at NYU having some serious ups and downs in her relationship with her boyfriend, Brian. Bridget heads to Turkey on an archaeological dig (woohoo!) and has yet another inappropriate relationship with an authority figure (I think I see a pattern here). And Carmen goes to a drama program, where she means to do behind-the-scenes work, but ends up showcasing all her innate star power.
I love this series (the first two books I think are especially lovely), so even though this book frustrated me a little, I still enjoyed it. The teen angst, it was just so . . . angsty! I know that teens do feel these emotional roller coasters (and these girls have a lot happening in their lives to be angsty over), but this one felt just the littlest bit over-the-top. These books are always poignant, but this one seemed to go overboard. Too many characters spouting too much spontaneous pithiness. Can a book be too poignant? If so, then this one definitely approaches that line.
The girls make some really stupid decisions, and while we all can probably remember things we did in our teens and wonder what on earth we were thinking, I still wanted to shake them and scream, "What is your problem?!! Grow up!" But in the end, growing up is exactly what they are doing and they eventually sort themselves out.
Each of the four girls are so different, and yet each seems very real and genuine. Everyone can have someone to relate with. Me? I'm a bit like Lena (without the gorgeousness, of course!). In each book, Lena thinks or does something that I totally understand and it resonates with me. "There were people who lived in the moment, Lena knew, while she lived at a delay of hours or even years. And with that knowledge came the familiar frustration of wanting to club herself over the head with a combat boot if only to be sure of experiencing and feeling something in unison for once." I get that, I really do.
This is the last book in the series. The pants are no more. It is a bit sad, though I've heard that Brashares is writing an adult novel, which could be very good.