The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsby Ann Brashares
Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn't look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they're great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they're fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.
“A complex book about a solid group of friends, with each one a strong and courageous individual in her own right. They form a true sisterhood of acceptance and support, resulting in a believable and inviting world.”—School Library Journal, Starred
“A feel-good novel of substance. . . . Move over, Ya-Ya Sisters.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“The loving depiction of enduring and solid friendship will ring true to readers, who will appreciate this recognition of one of life’s most important relationships.”—The Bulletin, Recommended
From the Hardcover edition.
Read an Excerpt
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"Can you close that suitcase?" Tibby asked Carmen. "It's making me sick."
Carmen glanced at the structured canvas bag splayed wantonly in the middle of her bed. Suddenly she wished she had all-new underwear. Her best satin pair was sprouting tiny ropes of elastic from the waistband.
"It's making me sick," Lena said. "I haven't started packing. My flight's at seven."
Carmen flopped the top of the suitcase down on the carpeted floor. She was working on removing navy-blue polish from her toenails.
"Lena, could you not say that word anymore?" Tibby asked, wilting a little on the edge of Carmen's bed. "It's making me sick."
"Which word?" Bridget asked. "Packing? Flight? Seven?"
Tibby considered. "All of them."
"Oh, Tibs," Carmen said, grabbing Tibby's foot from where she sat. "It's gonna be okay."
Tibby took her foot back. "It's gonna be okay for you. You're going away. You're going to eat barbecue all the time and light firecrackers and everything.
Tibby had nonsensical ideas about what people did in South Carolina, but Carmen knew not to argue with her.
Lena let out a little hum of sympathy.
Tibby turned on her. "Don't make that pity noise, Lena."
Lena cleared her throat. "I didn't," she said quickly, even though she had.
"Don't wallow," Bridget urged Tibby. "You're wallowing." "No," Tibby shot back. She held up hands crossed at the wrist in a hex sign to ward off Bridget. "No pep talks. No fair. I only let you do pep talks when you need to feel better."
"I wasn't doing a pep talk," Bridget said defensively, even though she was.
Carmen made her wise eyebrows. "Hey, Tibs? Maybe if you're nasty enough, you won't miss us and we won't miss you."
"Carma!" Tibby shouted, getting to her feet and thrusting a stiff arm at Carmen. "I see through that! You're doing psychological analysis on me. No! No!"
Carmen's cheeks flushed. "I am not," she said quietly.
The three of them sat, scolded into silence.
"God, Tibby, what is anybody allowed to say?" Bridget asked.
Tibby thought about it. "You can say . . ." She glanced around the room. She had tears welling in her eyes, but Carmen knew she didn't want them to show. "You can say . . ." Her eyes lighted on the pair of pants folded on the top of a stack of clothes on Carmen's dresser. "You can say, 'Hey, Tibby, want those pants?"'
Carmen looked baffled. She capped the polish remover, walked over to her dresser, and held up the pants. Tibby usually liked clothes that were ugly or challenging. These were just jeans. "You mean these?" They were creased in three places from inattention.
Tibby nodded sullenly. "Those."
"You really want them?" Carmen didn't feel like mentioning that she was planning to throw them away. Bigger points if they mattered.
Tibby was demanding a little display of unconditional love. Then again, it was her right. Three of them were flying off on big adventures the next day, and Tibby was launching her career at Wallman's in scenic Bethesda for five cents over minimum wage.
"Fine," Carmen said benevolently, handing them over.
Tibby absently hugged the pants, slightly deflated at getting her way so fast.
Lena studied them. "Are those the pants you got at the secondhand place next to Yes!?"
"Yes!" Carmen shouted back.
Tibby unfolded them. "They're great."
The pants suddenly looked different to Carmen. Now that somebody cared about them, they looked a little nicer.
"Don't you think you should try them on?" Lena asked practically. "If they fit Carmen, they aren't going to fit you."
Carmen and Tibby both glared at Lena, not sure who should take more offense. "What?" Bridget said, hopping to Lena's aid. "You guys have completely different builds. Is that not obvious?"
"Fine," Tibby said, glad to be huffy again.
Tibby pulled off her dilapidated brown cargo pants, revealing lavender cotton underwear. She turned her back to her friends for the sake of drama as she pulled on the pants. She zipped, buttoned, and turned around. "Ta-da!"
Lena studied her. "Wow."
"Tibs, you're such a babe," Bridget proclaimed.
Tibby tried not to let her smile get loose. She went over to the mirror and turned to the side. "You think they're good?"
"Are those really my pants?" Carmen asked.
Tibby had narrow hips and long legs for her small frame. The pants fell below her waist, hugging her hips intimately. They revealed a white strip of flat stomach, a nice inny belly button.
"You look like a girl," Bridget added.
Tibby didn't quarrel. She knew as well as anyone that she looked skinny and shapeless in the oversized pants she usually wore.
The pants bagged a little at her feet, but that worked for Tibby.
Suddenly Tibby looked unsure. "I don't know. Maybe somebody else should try them." Slowly she unbuttoned and unzipped.
"Tibby, you are crazy," Carmen said. "Those pants are in love with you. They want you for your body and your mind." She couldn't help seeing the pants in a completely new way.
Tibby threw them at Lena. "Here. You go."
"Why? They're meant to be yours, " Lena argued.
Tibby shrugged. "Just try them."
Carmen could see Lena glancing at the pants with a certain amount of interest. "Why not? Lena, try 'em."
Lena looked at the pants warily. She shed her own khakis and pulled them on. She made sure they were buttoned and sitting straight on her hips before she glanced in the mirror.
"Lenny, you make me sick," Tibby offered.
"Jesus, Lena," Carmen said. Sorry, Jesus, she added to herself reflexively.
"They're nice pants," Lena said reverently, almost whispering.
They were used to Lena, but Carmen knew that to the rest of the world she was fairly stunning. She had Mediterranean skin that tanned well, straight, shiny dark hair, and wide eyes roughly the color of celery. Her face was so lovely, so delicately structured, it kind of gave Carmen a stomachache. Carmen once confessed her worry to Tibby that some movie director was going to spot Lena and take her away, and Tibby admitted she had worried the exact same thing. Particularly beautiful people were like particularly funny-looking people, though. Once you knew them you mostly forgot about it.
The pants clung to Lena's waist and followed the line of her hips. They held close to the shape of her thighs and fell exactly to the tops of her feet. When she took two steps forward, they appeared to hug each of her muscles as they shifted and moved. Carmen gazed in wonder at how different was their effect from Lena's bland uniform of J. Crew khakis.
"Very sexy," Bridget said.
Lena snatched another peek at the mirror. She always held herself in a slightly awkward way, with her neck pushed forward, when she looked in a mirror. She winced. "I think maybe they're too tight," she said.
"Are you joking?" Tibby barked. "They are beautiful. They look a million times better than those lame-o pants you usually wear."
Lena turned to Tibby. "Was that a compliment somewhere in there?"
"Seriously, you have to have them," Tibby said. "They're like . . . transforming."
Lena fiddled with the waistband. She was never comfortable talking about the way she looked.
"You are always beautiful," Carmen added. "But Tibby's right . . .you look . . . just . . . different."
Lena slid the pants off her hips. "Bee has to try them."
"You do," Lena confirmed.
"She's too tall for them," Tibby said.
"Just try," Lena said.
"I don't need any more jeans," Bridget said. "I have, like, nine pairs."
"What, are you scared of them?" Carmen taunted. Stupid dares like that always worked on Bridget.
Bridget grabbed them from Lena. She took off her dark indigo jeans, kicked them into a pile on the floor, and pulled on the pants. At first she tried to pull the pants way up on her waist, so they would be too short, but as soon as she let go, the pants settled gracefully on her hips.
"Doo-doo-doo-doo," Carmen sang, hitting the notes of the Twilight Zone theme.
Bridget turned around to look at her backside. "What?"
"They're not short; they're perfect," Lena said. Tibby cocked her head, studying Bridget carefully. "You look almost . . . small, Bee. Not your usual Amazon."
"The insult parade marches on," Lena said, laughing.
Bridget was tall, with broad shoulders and long legs and big hands. It was easy to think she was a big person, but she was surprisingly narrow through her hips and waist.
"She's right," Carmen said. "The pants fit better than your usual ones."
Bridget switched her butt in front of the mirror. "These do look good," she said. "Wow. I think I may love them."
"You've got a great little butt," Carmen pointed out.
Tibby laughed. "That from the queen of butts." She got a troublemaking look in her eyes. "Hey. You know how we find out if these pants are truly magical?"
"How?" Carmen asked.
Tibby jiggled her foot in the air. "You try them on. I know they're yours and all, but I'm just saying, scientifically speaking, that it is impossible for these pants to fit you too."
Carmen chewed the inside of her cheek. "Are you casting aspersions on my butt?"
"Oh, Carma. You know I envy it. I just don't think these pants are going to fit over it," Tibby explained reasonably.
Bridget and Lena nodded.
Suddenly Carmen was afraid that the pants that hugged each of her friends' bodies with loving grace would not fit over her upper thighs. She wasn't really chubby, but she had inherited her backside directly from the Puerto Rican half of the family. It was very nicely shaped, and most days she felt proud of it, but here with these pants and her three little-assed friends, she didn't feel like standing out like the big fatso.
"Nah. I don't want them," Carmen said, standing up and getting ready to try to change the subject. Six eyes remained fixed on the pants.
"Yes," Bridget said. "You have to."
"Please, Carmen?" Lena asked.
She saw too much anticipation on her friends' faces to drop it without a fight. "Fine. Don't expect them to fit or anything. I'm sure they won't."
"Carmen, they're your pants," Bridget pointed out.
"Yeah, smarty, but I never tried them on before." Carmen said it with enough force to ward off further questions. She pulled off her black flares and pulled on the jeans. They didn't stop at her thighs. They went right up over her hips without complaint. She fastened them. "So?" She wasn't ready to venture a look in the mirror yet.
Nobody said anything.
"What?" Carmen felt cursed. "What? Are they that bad? She found the courage to meet Tibby's eye. "What?"
"I . . . I just . . ." Tibby trailed off.
"Oh my," Lena said quietly.
Carmen winced and looked away. "I'll just take them off, and we'll pretend this never happened," she said, her cheeks flushing.
Bridget found words. "Carmen, that's not it at all! Look at yourself! You are a thing of beauty. You are a vision. You are a supermodel."
Carmen put her hand on her hip and made a sour face. "That I doubt." "Seriously, look at yourself," Lena ordered. "These are magic pants."
Carmen looked at herself. First from far away, then from up close. From the front and then the back.
The CD they'd been listening to ended, but nobody seemed to notice. The phone was ringing distantly, but nobody got up to get it. The normally busy street was silent. Carmen finally let out her breath. "These are magic pants...
Meet the Author
Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the DC area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Last year, Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer and wrote her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Ann lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Jacob Collins, an artist, and their three children, Sam, Nathaniel, and Susannah, their newborn, who is an honorary member of the Sisterhood.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Im 15 going on 16 and I absolutely LOVED this book. It was worth every penny! In the story I felt that the pants truely were magical! Having bought this book at a secondhand thrift store for a $1.50 added even more magic :) Im a very picky reader but I was hooked from page one. I though it was going to be a sloppy, corny story, but I was wrong!! My cousin wouldn't shut up about it and told me that I just HAD to read it. I finished the book in about a day or two and I completely cried my eyes out in the end. Can't wait to read the other ones!! and maybe watch the movie too :) I loved the way the story was laid out. IT FORCES YOU TO KEEP READING!! One minute you're reading about Lena and then, it shifts over to Carmen, and then Tibby, and then Bridget, and back to Lena and so on... Oh! And in every chapter theres a cute little quote :) I loved it, some of them were funny too! I took this book to school with me and started reading in the cafeteria, and my friends looked at me like I was crazy cause I started crying. Why was I crying? 2 reasons: #1 I had finished reading it. #2 read the book and you'll see :) This book is absolutely PERFECT FOR THE SUMMER since it takes place during that time. I love books that just make me all emotional inside. Most people rate books with stars. I rate mine with tears. I cried soooo much in the end. There's always one character that you can relate to the most, but in this book you can relate to all of them in some ways :) I love Lena, we have the same taste and artistic skill and tend to be a little introverted. I loved Carmen too. We're both part Puerto Rican with some junk in the trunk and a broken family. Bridget and I share the same passion for soccer and Tibby and I have that little snappy attitude at times, we're not afraid to speak our mind, and we have crappy jobs with annoying bosses -_- In short :) quit wasting time reading stupid reviews about other peoples opinions about this book. Go out and buy it and read it. You won't regret it at all
This is one of the best books I have read. It was like another movie I had never seen before. For all the people out there, this book was about these four girls that were best friends. They each had a different vacation place. One of them had a pair of pants and it fit each and very one of them. They decided to form a sisterhood and honor the pants. They said the pants would travel form girl to girl while they are on vacation.
Great book!!! This is deffinitly a book for a 6th 7th 8th. Not because of bad stuff or anything like that.. but just because junior high girls would be able to understand more.
I was in 7th grade when I read this book and I thought it was AMAZING!!! This read is fun and interesting.
I'm 9 and i love this book.
I give this book 5 starts mostly if not entirely because it's one of the few books that I actually read more than once. I couldnt put it down either. I love the fact that the point of view isnt limited, and the audience gets to see what's going on with all of the characters. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember I really wanted to be the girl who went overseas with her family and met the boy, I think it might have been in Greece. That's the great thing with this book, theres so many characters and the girls are all so diverse so you find yourself in one of them. Definitely recommend!
This is the best book! Dont hesitate for reading it!
Great book its one of the best books i have ever read!
It is sooooo sad when tibbys friend with cancer dies!!!!!! But other than a little crying i enjoyed this boook very much!!!
I feel like i am in the book with everyone of these girls. LOVE,LOVE,lOVE them all<3 and i fall in love with the guys everytime
This is one of my favorite books!!!!!!!!!:) Cant wait to read the rest of the sieries
I think it is really good for middle schoolers like me me and my friends all read it and we could all relate to it some how
This book is the first in one of my favorite series of all time. As Carmen, Bridget, Lena, and Tibby prepare for their first summer apart, a seemingly magical pair of good looking pants brings them together. Each of the girls has to deal with life without her other three selves as she deals with conflicts that many girls can relate to. The sisterhood shows a powerful standard of friendship, strenght, trust, and love that all girls can look up to. This is a touching story by Ann Brashares about the power of friendship. Recommended ages 12 & up.
This book is utterly amazing. I think it's a perfect book for all ages. It is about four, unique best friends who had been together since birth. I will not give too much away, but each girl goes somplace in the summer when, unfortunately, thry are supposee to hang out. But they find a better communication. Their pants. This story describes each girl's hardships and fun times over the summer. Get ready for a blast of a great plot. Enjoy!
Whats the order that the books go in?!?!
i bought this book at wal-mart when it first came out and have read and reread it so many times before, Ann Brashares takes us on a magical Adventure about four best friends and a pair of pants that they share called the Traveling pant's, each girl experience's a different, new, aspect of all of there life's and their personality during their first summer apart, with each page in the book you will get closer to these girl's like they are your best friend's, the sisterhood of the traveling pants is definitely one book to invest in, it is money well worth spent, each girl will find their way into your heart & possibly show you something that was never there before, this book is truly excellent, it is one of the best books i have ever read and reread before, these four girls are best friends and have been since they was babies, i highly recomend this book to everyone, these jeans fit all four friend's perfectly, this is 1 of the best book series i have ever read and reread before, Ann Brashares is one of my favorite top Authors, the books are just as good as the movies are, the girls decide that the jeans should be shared & sent back and forth from friend to friend during the summer, this is a good story about friendship, the sisterhood of the traveling pants is a very good book, it is very well written, this is a good story about growing up, the characters are all very likeable in this book, they all decide that the pants should be only worn in the summertime, and they all have to write a memory on the back of them when the summer ends, i give this book 5 stars, Ann Brashares is one of the best Authors ever.
This book is a winner in every way. A very wise professor once said, ¿As a teen, you begin to learn who you really are, when you break away from the group.¿ Ann Brashares has brought this universal truth to literary life and the female YA audience eloquently in this soulful book. (In fact, the series of all four books are winners and more enjoyable when read straight through, because the reader will appreciate the character development.) Ms. Brashares writing is precise where it needs to be, yet leaves room open for thought and challenges fer her readers. The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants, is the story of a rare and unique friendship between four girls Bridget, Lena, Tibby and Carmen. A pair of magical blue jeans comes into their lives one day that just happen to fit their very different bodies. The pants become the perfect metaphor, as the girls share them during their first summer apart, which takes place between their Sophomore and Junior year in High School. The first book is told from Carmen¿s point of view. Her feisty spirit grows thorns when she arrives in South Carolina to spend the summer with her Dad. Life becomes tumultuous when she arrives, and is surprised to meet his fiancée and her stepbrother and stepsister to be. The summer turns out to be as comfortable for them as a group stranded on an island with poison ivy, sun poisoning and a variety of bug bites. Lena, a sensitive artist, and her younger sister spend the summer on a picturesque Greek island with their strict Grandparents. Her self-concept is challenged when she meets her first love, Kostos. Bridget, who¿s nickname is Bumble Bee, reels out of control as a result of a traumatic event. While spending the summer at soccer camp in Baja, her lustful, self-destructive path fuels out of control when she gets involved with one of her coaches. Tibby, is the only friend who finds herself spending her summer in their hometown of Bethesda. She is the ignored child of parents who had a second family late in life. Tibby tries to deal with hurt and abandonment issues by making a documentary of everyday people. She learns much about herself through her pet, younger brother and sister, and from unlikely new friends she makes during the summer while creating her film, and working at a local drug store chain. This wonderful story is told with love, support and wisdom. It shows that real friends don't have to be competitive and mean-spirited. What a joy. Many surprises will delight the reader. I loved every page of it.
I am in love with this book by Ann Brashares. It is the story of four teenage girls who are best friends. They all share a bond over a pair of pants that somehow perfectly fit all their different body types. Over the summer, they separate and go on their own adventures all while still staying in touch. My favorite characters were the characters of Tibby and Bailey. They spent their summer together making a documentary, while some of the other girls developed crushes, developed family issues, and gone away to a sports summer camp. I love how diverse this novel is and it can relate to so many different people no matter what they are facing. I think that having so many main characters was smart of the authors part because it causes many people to relate to relate to the book, or at least one person in the book. Lots of difficult and challenging things happen in the plot over the course of the book, but most of our main characters manage to keep it together. The novel is very lighthearted and I believe that everyone should read it. This book will make you laugh, cry, smile, and frown all within an hour. The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants is a quick and an easy read. The story told of friendship, trust, and strength while apart will really help me when I go into high school and I will not see all my friends anymore. I would recommend this book to all my friends and I think that not only is it a great novel for teenagers, but also for adults. I could not put down this page turner. The fact that all four of the girls bond over a pair of magical pants is super creative and special.
Friendship is a bond stronger than any distance and this story is a classic example. Throughout the story, I was always satisfied because it compels you to want to keep reading more. The plot will turn from one character’s scenario to another leaving you on the edge of your seat, waiting for what might happen next. Ann Brashares is a genius for doing this because I often find myself bored with reading just one character's plot throughout a whole novel. The main idea of this great story is obviously sisterhood and friendship, but the story itself includes so much more than that. It creates connections to the readers and in little ways Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget all have relatable scenarios. These girls, who are all so diverse, go their separate ways during the summer, but are still connected by a magic pair of pants which they vow to pass on to each other. They have and will encounter obstacles throughout the novel and these obstacles are faced by their strong bond and the mysterious magic of the pants. I know that I have benefitted from reading this book because it shows common scenarios that young girls have and may face someday. It teaches lessons, such as learning to talk about and face emotional and communal problems. Overall, this read was one of the best I have read. It can change one’s perspective of their own problems and I believe it is an outstanding book for young girls and teens. The author, Ann Brashares, is well known having the title of a New York Times bestselling author. Many praise and describe her books as compelling, romantic, and even mysterious. She is a master of enticing the reader and making them want to keep reading more. I truly appreciate her work and this story was a pleasure to read. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants isn’t just about a magic pair of pants, but is about a bond. The pants are truly only a witness to the strength of the four girls, as they hold together their sisterhood. Even when their departures felt like goodbye.
I am 11 and this book i juged by its cover when i first piked it up because i thoght that it was ganna be lame sence i am not the kind to read by what lets say books for people are all about clothes but my aunt said that it was a good book so i read it and i feel this book has taght me not to judge abook by its cover because i absulotly loved it and i am sure enyone els that has read it will tell you the same if they have good taste in books.
Like a whole lot of other people, I assume, I've already watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, and also own them, in fact. This is partly because I'm a fan of Alexis Bledel because of Gilmore Girls (Who else is pumped for the reboot?!?!), and they're also obviously really popular. Being a massive book lover, I'm kind of surprised it took me this long to read the series. The first book is wonderful. It's lighthearted and fun and at the same time really emotional and triumphant in a great way. I find that part a little hard to put into words, but since it bounces back to different, contrasting stories I guess that would make sense. It's just so well done. The girls and their experiences are diverse, and all great. It was cool getting to know all four of them, but there were times when I was like, wait, get back to her! I want to keep reading about that! I love how much goes down in one summer, and the bond between the girls is enviable. I'm excited to keep reading the other books and compare them to the movies. I feel like I'll have a greater appreciation of both the books and the movies once I've done that. The only complaint I have is that I want more. Lucky for me, in addition to owning both movies, I also own the other three books (and have already started in on the second of the series), so I'm in for quite a fix. ;)
Why is the Ebook version more expensive than the paperback?????????????? No Ebook should be more than 7$ honestly. It's crazy. Ebooks should be 4-5 dollars less than the hardcopy of the book.
Ohhh. This book. Amazing. Everyone says that Bridget is terrible as this and that, but I found myself enjoying her chapters, especially near the end when she realizes that maybe intimacy isn't the only way to get a guy into you. This book will make you laugh from the silliness (is that a word?), smile from the sweetness, and cry from the tradgedy. Foour thumbs up, including feet!