Sunday, October 3, 2010

Part Three: Girls in Pants (The Third Summer of the Traveling Pants)

As always, spoilers for the first three books.

Book: Girls in Pants (The Third Summer of the Sisterhood)
Pages: 234-338
Topics: Decision of Favorite, Family Portraits, Looks, At the Center, MOAR QUOTES

Decision of Favorite:
I guess I'm just going to talk. This time around, finally reading the last third of the book, I remembered why I considered it my favorite for so long. The ending is brilliant. Not just brilliant, but also something that I find myself relating to. The entire book (the entire series) ambles along at a leisurely pace, but it's in the last hundred pages here that we get all those big revelations that the sisterhood is all about. All those passages that make me love the book so much. Right now, I don't think I have a favorite. There are parts of each book that I absolutely love, and it's too difficult to choose.

Family Portraits:
As a child, you were taught to see the world in geometric shapes and primary colors... Then you had to spend the rest of your life unlearning them. That was life, as near as Lena could tell. Making everything simple for the first ten years, which in turn made everything way more complicated for the subsequent seventy. (pg. 252)

While the scenes with Lena doing the portraits of her family can be tedious at times, I love all the realizations she comes to, all the ways she comes to view the members of her family and the ways she knows she's misjudged them in the past. The scenes with Valia and her father are the most tremendous to me, and Brashares always has such a simple way of stating the epiphanies and realizations of her characters.

Lena had a funny relationship with her face. She wanted it to be beautiful, and she didn't. She looked at it with the desire to find some overriding flaw that would kick her from one category (beautiful) into another (not). And she also looked at it with the fear that she'd succeed. Either way, she didn't usually find it. (pg. 291)

I love how these books tackle the whole concept of self-image as it pertains to looks. I love that instead of focusing on Tibby's or Carmen's insecurities, the focus is always on the complicated relationship Lena has with her own beautiful looks. It's such an interesting and unique perspective that it constantly surprises me.

At the Center:
They were growing up. It was inevitable.
But please, God, [Tibby] couldn't do it if it was a trade-in. She couldn't strike the bargain if growing up meant drowning out the friendship that stood at the very center of her life, the thing that gave her strength and balance. (pg. 331)

It's pretty much impossible to explain how much or why I love this quote, so I won't even try. But I do love it.


"Whatever happens," Bridget said, "we will find each other. We always will." (pg. 332)

How perfect.

How could she explain? Eric wasn't her boyfriend. He wasn't her anything. Why did she feel like she needed him so desperately? (pg. 289)

Bee + Eric > Lena + Kostos. That is all.

[Carmen's] mother once told her that when you feel someone else's pain and joy as powerfully as if it were your own, the you knew you really loved them. (pg. 267)

I've talked about the relationship between Carmen and her mother before, but I feel like it bears repeating. I think Carmen and her mother have the closest ties and the deepest relationship of any of the relationships outside of the Septembers and I love that the books don't ever shy away from the exploration of this relationship in favor of other things.

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