I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares and enjoyed it so when I was at Sam's Club several weeks ago and I saw this, I immediately went home and requested it from my local library.* When it finally became available (darn all those teenagers who read the books I want to read), I went and picked it up and finished it in a couple of days.
The title led me to believe that this would be some sort of continuation, or spin-off of the Sisterhood books. I thought maybe they'd do something like Disney did with The Parent Trap and The Parent Trap 2. The twins (played by Hayley Mills, not Lindsay Lohan) from the first movie, are the adults from the second movie and one of them has a daughter who is trying to get her divorced mom (one of the twins) to hook up with her best friend's single dad.** I digress. The summary page for the book didn't lead me to believe that it was connected to Brashares famous series at all, but it is, a little bit.
3 Willows is a similar sort of story. In this story, there are three fourteen yera old girls and it's the summer right before they start high school. These three girls used to be best friends. This is their story of rediscovering the importance of their friendship that once was. Polly struggles with who she is and how she looks and having never known her father. Ama has to learn how to be outdoorsy instead of bookish without letting her immigrant family, or her own hopes down. And Jo has to deal with her parents' separation, the death of her brother several years before, and whether she wants to be one of the cool kids or not.
How is it connected to the girls with the pants? These three girls are in the same town as the original sisterhood, and about to start at the sisterhood's old high school. The original sisterhood is legendary to them. Polly, babysits for Tibby's younger siblings and Tibby's boyfriend, Brian, makes a very very brief appearance. Another of the new sisterhood hooks up with an older boy who turns out to be Effie's (Lena's little sister's) boyfriend.
This story is sweet and innocent in a way that the Sisterhood series stopped being when the girls got older and there were pregnancy scares, etc. It's a great coming of age stories as these three girls figure out who they are, who they want to be, and how they don't want to let go of their childhood friendship.
*When Jed and I were first married we had a rule that for every new book we bought, we needed to put a dollar into a jar to save up for a bookshelf. That didn't work out nearly as well as we thought it would and thus, we have way more books than bookshelves, or house for that matter. So, with Jed back in school, no where to put all these books we'd love to own, and the discovery of a great library that will order me just about any book/dvd I ask it to, we are now huge library patrons. I'm actually very proud of the fact that all but a handful of books I read each year are library books.
** Does it scare you that I know this much? I've even seen The Parent Trap III and I think The Parent Trap IV : Hawaiian Honeymoon. All because I loved the orginal, 1961 Hayley Mills The Parent Trap so much. I used to be able to quote almost the entire movie. I even liked the Disney remake with Lindsay Lohan (before she became who she is now) and Natasha Richardson (so sad that she just died) in 1998.