Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Part Two: Girls in Pants (The Third Summer of the Sisterhood)

Back when Ten Cent Notes was a Wordpress blog, I started a series of posts on The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series. It's taking me absolutely forever to reread these books and write the posts, but I am doing it. As this is a discussion type of post, it should go without saying that there are SPOILERS for the first three books in the series.

Book: Girls in Pants (The Third Summer of the Sisterhood)
Pages: 123-233
Topics: Favorite?, Good Carmen, Lena and Paul, Tibby Hides, Sick Bee, Quotes

Like I said before, in my mind I always remembered this book as being my favorite in the series. In rereading it though, I'm not quite sure that holds up. The book is good, no doubt, but all books in this series are good. What I'm remembering more than anything, I think, is how much I loved the rediscovery of Bee and Eric's relationship. Aside from that, I'm not entirely connected to the stories in this book. Carmen's always been the character I'm least connected too, and it's even less in this book. Though I love Lena, her story didn't quite capture me in this book like it does in the others, and I adore Tibby, but her story here takes a long time to really get going for me. So, is this book my favorite? Probably not.

Good Carmen:
I find it so great that Carmen has this idea of herself as being a horrible person and thinks that all the times Win (the guy she likes who works at the hospital) sees her doing good deeds are just aberrations. Like, those times don't matter. It's a little hilarious to me because of all the girls, Carmen is the one who always has the most struggle with good and bad. She has a temper, she acts out, she says things and does things that hurt others and that she doesn't mean, but she's always trying, trying, trying to be good and yet she never sees this. She refuses to give herself a break.

Lena and Paul:
It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of the Lena/Kostos relationship; I never liked them together, never thought he was good for her, and was disappointed at the way their story ended up in the last book. (For more of my thoughts on Lena and Kostos, you can visit this post.) Anyhow, I always sort of wanted Lena and Paul to end up together. I realize that much sadness might just be a recipe for disaster, but throughout the books it did seem like Paul understood Lena better than anyone else, at least anyone who wasn't Bapi. There was a certain amount of hope for them in the second book, but it pretty much gets destroyed here, or at least pushed aside in a way that makes me feel like the books missed out on what could have been a really great storyline.

Tibby Hides:
I adore Tibby. She reminds me of myself. And though her story does take quite a while to get going in this book and the reader is never quite sure why she feels the way she does, or does the things she does, it starts to come together here. I have no words to explain Tibby except to say that a lot of her struggles are my own struggles and on a very basic level I connect with her. There's a scene in this book with her climbing out onto the apple tree outside of her window, and it's like a culmination of everything she's been struggling with and feeling since her younger sister, Katherine, fell out of that same window. And I can't explain it, but it just reminds me that there are so many different layers to these characters and the story as a whole - a million different ways for readers to connect to the books.

Sick Bee:
Eric taking care of Bee when she gets sick is one of those rare events in these books without which I feel like the book couldn't have gone the way it did. Bee's story has always been my favorite of all four girls, and the fact that her relationship with Eric comes back to the forefront in this book is - I think - one of the best things about her story. Unlike the other girls, Bee's story has always been a combination of the present with the past, and whereas in other books the past is her mother's past, here she's finally dealing with her own issues, the things in her past that have everything to do with her, and I really think that over all, Bee's transformation and change throughout the books is the best of any of the girls.

The truth was, she had never felt so overwhelmingly drawn to anyone. In the two years since they'd seen each other, she had questioned this particular magnetism Eric had for her. Was it real? Or was she so caught up in a mania of her own making that summer in Baja that she had imagined it?
Seeing him again this summer answered her question. It was real. She responded to him the same way, even though she was different. (page 131)

Listening to her friends' voices felt like hearing a familiar symphony, with one instrument coming in and layering atop another. The way the cadences linked and harmonized made her feel safe. (page 135)

How sad it was, Carmen thought, that you acted awful when you were desperately sad and hurt and wanted to be loved. How tragic then, the way everyone avoided you and tiptoed around you when you really needed them. (page 216)
1. Which character do you feel most connected to? For me it's always been a split between Tibby and Lena.
2. Do you have a favorite book throughout the series? I used to think this was my favorite but now I don't know.
3. Favorite quote?

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