This is a book that has been sitting on my bookcase since about 2002. I am not even sure where it came from, since I am pretty sure I didn't purchase it. I would glance at it and think to myself that I should pick it up, but I never did. Then for a while in 2008, HBO showed the movie nearly everyday and I wound up seeing various bits and pieces - so I thought there was no need to read it as I had basically pieced the whole story together. This week was a busy one, with my daughter's 10th birthday celebration and lots of extra work activity...I had a book lined up - but I thought that it might be too heavy for this week. I scanned the bookshelves and I saw this book staring me in the face. I decided to roll the dice. I am glad I did - this was a fun coming-of-age story.
Intially this was a hard book for me to get into - it took a while to determine the narrator of the story and the story of the traveling pants and how they came to be was a little rushed, but once that was sorted out - it was fun to take the ride with these four 15-year-old girls and their summer antics. Each girl has a distinct personality, Lena (aloof), Bridget (implusive), Carmen (thoughtful), and Tibby (rebellious and snarky) - and as each comes into possession of these magic jeans that fits each one of the fabulously (even though some are larger than others) we explore their adventures.
The jeans travel across the world from Greece, to Baja California to South Carolina and even to their home state of Washington, DC. Each of the girls have a life-changing encounter in this summer of the pants and the reader is invited on the journey.
Brashares does a fine job of character development, although I felt that the Bridget character was the weakest of all of the girls. This was a lovely story and when I looked up the author online, I noticed that there were four of these books, narrated by each member of the group, I assume. I am not sure that I am compelled to run out and buy subsequent books, but this first book was a great summer read.