Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

ISBN: 9780385734011
Source: Purchased
Series: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants #4
Release Date: January 1, 2007
Find it on Goodreads
See my reviews on other books in this series

With unraveled embroidery and fraying hems, the Traveling Pants are back for one last, glorious summer.
Lena: Immerses herself in her painting and an intoxicating summer fling, fearing that the moment she forgets about Kostos will be the moment she sees him again.
Carmen: Falls under the spell of a sophisticated college friend for whom a theatrical role means everything and the heritage of the Pants means nothing.
Bridget: Joins a dig for an ancient city on the coast of Turkey and discovers that her archaeology professor is available in every way except one.
Tibby: Leaves behind someone she loves, wrongly believing he will stay where she has left him.

I really thought that this would be my favorite book out of the whole series - mainly because I'm so much closer in age to the main characters in this one than I was four books ago (24 to their 18). Surprisingly, it wasn't my favorite, but I did enjoy reading about the deeper issues the girls dealt with in this "final" installment.

One of the smaller reasons for me not absolutely loving this one was that I found the writing to be... for lack a better term: strange... as compared to the previous three. Not the narrative, but the dialogue felt stunted and awkward, which made no sense to me considering the previous three in the series were written very well. It was easy enough to look past as a whole, but strange nonetheless and at times distracting.

As far as the characters and their development, the fact that they were entering a new life stage and changing very much was evident. I think all of the characters showed a lot of development throughout the series, but I wondered at times in this book if the girls had forgotten all of the lessons they'd learned over the previous three summers?

Bridget was always my favorite out of the girls, probably because I related best to her. I enjoyed the fact that she was such a free spirit a lot of the time, but sometimes fell victim to a deeper sadness and bad decisions. I always thought, though, that Bridget was the one who learned most from her mistakes and made the biggest effort to change when she did learn. Then came this book and Bridget basically reverts to all her old ways. It was just eye-roll inducing when she (and all the other characters) went back on all the awesome character development they'd acquired previously.

The other girls will always have a spot in my heart alongside Bridget, my fave, though they usually made me roll my eyes a little more often than she did (especially Carmen). Carmen has gotten much less bratty since the first book, though, thank God, and actually begins to develop as an adult and use her attitude to get what she wants in the right way.

Sometimes Lena's reaction to emotion-inducing events seemed unrealistic and too nonchalant, but I suppose she was always a bit of a downer. And Tibby... in this book, Tibby was the opposite of every 18-year-old girl I know while somehow being exactly like them. I don't want to spoil anything for the 5% of people who've never read these but I felt for the girl because I have been in some of those situations before (definitely not the biggest one, but some).

Overall, awkward dialogue aside, it was fun to watch four girls that we'd seen grow up go into adulthood, making mistakes (as always) and learning from them in the end- and even teaching some lessons in the process. I enjoyed this one and though I wanted to scream sometimes, I was satisfied with the way it ended, even if it was bittersweet.

     RATING: ★★

I highly recommend this series as a whole to all YA contemporary lovers. Its a wonderful story about true friendship, love, growing up, and how to deal with life and its tragedies. Though I can admit that sometimes reading about four teenage girls could be a bit eye-roll inducing, if you want to reminisce on your young-adulthood, pick up these books! I loved them!

How many of you read the entire series? What did you think of it as a whole? There's one more book (technically an adult novel) which I've read and will be reviewing. Its the "10 years later" novel.. I bet you can't wait! :)


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