Title: 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows
Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: January 13, 2009
Challenge: Countdown Challenge, A to Z Challenge
Genre: Teen, Chick Lit
Review: Originally posted at Curled Up Kids
Rating: 4 out of 5
3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows is the story of Ama, Jo, and Polly, three best friends who have drifted apart over the years.
The summer before high school is a time of change for all of them. For Jo, it’s about going to the beach and hanging out with the “cool” girls, hoping she can make friends with them in the three months before high school starts. However, she doesn’t expect the cute boy she crosses paths with or the family problems that she decides to ignore.
For Ama, it’s about working hard to get into Princeton, just like her older sister. But when her scholarship for the summer arrives in the form of an outdoor adventure, Ama is devastated. How can she survive an entire summer out in the wild?
For Polly, life can be difficult when your mom is an artist who doesn’t seem to have the time for you. But then she gets an idea that will finally make everyone notice her. It will just require a little time and effort…
Throughout the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Ann Brashares has proven masterful at writing teenage friendships. She takes that to a new level with 3 Willows. In the Sisterhood, the girls had solid friendships prior to finding the pants. They helped the girls stay friends and keep in touch, yes, but they’d already built their relationships with one another. In 3 Willows, that strong base isn’t in place. The girls were friends once, but that friendship has lapsed. The entire book is basically about their re-discovering what they once had and what friendship really means. In other words, this series will not be just another repeat of the SSisterhood. Though there are similarities (same setting and cameos by minor characters), this series will stand on its own strengths.
The girls in 3 Willows are also younger than the Sisterhood girls. As a result, the books may appeal to a younger age group. That’s not to say that older teens and adults won’t enjoy them. Like all of Brashares’ other books, they are well-written and easy to read. The characters are very sympathetic; even when they treat each other badly, it’s easy to empathize. Brashares masterfully gets the reader into the head of each of the girls.