I was stranded in the middle of nowhere last night for two hours because my car broke down. It wasn’t the ideal way to start the week. But with books it can only get better!
This past week I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.
In Speak, Melinda, a freshman in high school, is ostracized by her classmates and misunderstood by most of her teachers and parents. She goes through the school year silently reliving a traumatic experience from the end of the summer and sneaks off to an abandoned janitor closet to be alone with her secrets. In the end, however, Melinda discovers that, contrary to what she has always heard, silence is not always golden.
This book was very difficult to read. I had read it before this past week, and all I could remember about it was the part where there’s no doubt what secret she’s keeping (I would have figured it out much earlier now, but in 7th grade I was not as aware of the evils of the world.) I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It bothers you even when you are not reading it, as good books do.
In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the four friends Carmen, Bridget, Tibby, and Lena spend the first summer of their lives apart. To remain connected, the girls send a pair of ‘magical’ jeans to each other along with a letter about their summer adventures. Each girl believes that she knows how her summer will play out, but each is surprised to find out how it really does. Tibby’s expectation of enduring a ‘sucky’ summer actually turns out much better than she anticipated… until the end (I won’t spoil the surprise, though!) Bridget believes that she knows exactly what she wants at soccer camp, but winds up more confused that satisfied when she gets it. Carmen’s quality time with her dad turns out to be quality time with a group of strangers. And last but not least, Lena’s Greece getaway turns out to be more than she bargained for.
There is romance, tragedy, and adventure in this twisting and surprising read. I really enjoyed following the intertwining stories and seeing how incredibly different the girls each were. Overall, I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.