Forever in Blue
The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
Ann Brashares

Delacorte Press
Hardcover/381 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-72936-9
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"Brashares’s touch is light and the message, which could have been sledgehammer heavy, rings as clear as a golden bell."

The traveling pants travel to college and see more of the world.

Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby continue their adventures with the traveling pants. This time they take the pants to college for the summer, to an archaeological dig in Turkey, and to summer stock theater on a journey of love and romance.

Forever in Blue, Ann Brashares fourth—and possibly last book in the traveling pants series—holds its own with the first three books. Even if you haven’t read the other books, the history and relationships between these four young friends is quickly made clear without a lot of rehashing of old events. The pants and the girls venture further into a world away from home and away from each other, growing up and out in many ways.

What makes Brashares’s tale so good isn’t that the pants seemingly holds the relationship of all four girls together, but it is her simple and honest rendering of each girl’s life and growing pains. Although the characters have left their childhoods behind them, they each find that home is not only where they grew up. Brashares delves deeper into what makes each character special while maintaining a sometimes tenuous thread of commonality that threatens to break on several occasions. The characters remain true to themselves and provide an intimate view of what makes even the best of friends grow up—and grow away from each other.

Brashares’s writing is straightforward, yet it still retains freshness and magic that brings the characters poignantly to life. Sometimes heart-breaking, the story reminds us all of what we have gained and what we have lost. Brashares’s touch is light and the message, which could have been sledgehammer heavy, rings as clear as a golden bell.

Although it is not necessary to read the other books to enjoy Forever in Blue, the characters and Brashares’ deft weaving of character, locale, and plot whets the appetite for more.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell