Tuesday, July 19, 2011

REVIEW: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares


Having read the other books when they came out (I was 14? 15?) I couldn't resist reading the last book. I'm a sucker for a series. I love not having to let go of characters as soon as a book ends.

I have to admit, this book frustrated me. It bothered me. I wanted to stop reading. I wanted to throw it (neatly contained in my Kindle) against the wall. I don't want to include any spoilers, but this book was depressing. Flat-out, depressing. The girls (women, I should say because they are almost 30) experience an extreme tragedy and react to it in extreme ways. That was my first complaint. I think I have experienced more grief than the average person, and I still can't see anyone acting the way they did in the book. It came off as very unrealistic and out of character for me. The sisterhood hasn't played a significant role in any of their lives in years and they have all grown apart to the point where you might not even classify them as friends, yet when they finally realize the sisterhood has truly been destroyed they act like it was the only thing worthwhile in their lives.

I kept reading for two reasons: the writing itself was beautiful, and I knew that everything would be resolved in the end. Which of course, it was. I wanted it to be, I was waiting for it to happen, but every story line getting wrapped up in a neat little bow was off-putting. The audience for these books has grown up, I would've thought the story could grow up too. This book wasn't meant for teenagers who can't handle the fact that life is messy and things are unfair and not everyone gets a happy ending. But that's what it felt like at the end, that she just couldn't end the series without everyone being happy and content even though throughout the book they've all been miserable and whiny and depressed. I think she could've ended it on a happy but more realistic note.

In all honesty, I couldn't in my head connect the women in these books to the girls from the first few. It felt like I was reading about completely different people who just happened to have the same names. Maybe it's because it's been so long since I read the other books, but I also think that the author took all of their personality traits to the extreme in this book.

Overall, if you have read the rest of the series and want to know how it ends, I'd say read it. But have a giant hershey's bar and a box of kleenex in easy reach.