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review 2017-06-19 04:57
Review: 3 Willows by Ann Brashares
3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows - Ann Brashares

Here is a summary of what the book is about. Summer is a time to grow

seeds
Polly has an idea that she can't stop thinking about, one that involves changing a few things about herself. She's setting her sights on a more glamorous life, but it's going to take all of her focus. At least that way she won't have to watch her friends moving so far ahead.

roots
Jo is spending the summer at her family's beach house, working as a busgirl and bonding with the older, cooler girls  she'll see at high school come September. She didn't count on a brief fling with a cute boy changing her entire summer. Or feeling  embarrassed by her middle school friends. And she didn't count on her family at all...

leaves
Ama is not an outdoorsy girl. She wanted to be at an academic camp, doing research in an air-conditioned library, earning A's. Instead her summer scholarship lands her on a wilderness trip full of flirting teenagers, blisters, impossible hiking trails, and a sad lack of hair products. It is a new summer. And a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

I found this book very interesting. I thought it was apart of The Sisterhood  of the Traveling Pants series but it's not. It's a new sisterhood and new friendships.

What I got out of the storyline is that no matter what your friends are always there for you.

I only hope to have friendships as close as the characters did in this book.

I do plan on reading more books from  this author.

Happy Reading Everyone!

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review 2017-05-26 06:02
Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
The Whole Thing Together - Ann Brashares

Quick review for a somewhat quick read for me, though it felt like I had to push myself through this novel several times. "The Whole Thing Together" has many issues, but I would echo concerns that much of this novel suffers from rampant cliches, insensitive references in the measure of racial attribution (considering it uses a racial slur casually and struggles constantly to accurately and sensitively portray the multiracial character who struggles with her identity) and sexism (slut shaming and odd fixations on physical details of the characters). In addition to those issues, I think the biggest downfall of this novel really came in that I just couldn't find a space to connect with the characters. Not as much as I wanted to, because there were parts of the narrative that had the potential to go interesting places, but never quite reached that point and abruptly halted in places where the development could've provided more intimacy than the narration allowed.

At its heart, "The Whole Thing Together" is a family drama, showcasing teens as well as young adults in a separate sections of the same family struggling through multiple phases and revelations in their lives. Think "Parenthood" or "Brothers and Sisters" in terms of TV dramas, only I think the characters in this novel were far less fleshed out. As ambitious as this narrative sought to be, it tried to take on far too much in a narrow scope, to the point where nothing really worked well. The narrative voices blended far too much for me to truly connect to them (I don't mind third-person omniscient POV, I read it quite often in many genres). I would hesitate to call this YA, it feels more like it straddles the line between YA and New Adult (at least if you think about certain themes tackled in this book).

The surprise revelation towards the ending was emotional, but I honestly think that it could've had more impact if the character constructions were stronger. In the end, it's a narrative with strong intentions, but the execution leaves an unmemorable and sometimes offputting portrayal that doesn't showcase the best of what Brashares can do, and as someone who liked the Sisterhood series, this left me greatly disappointed.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

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review 2017-04-08 01:08
The Whole Thing Together - Ann Brashares

I liked this story a lot. When I requested this book, I didn't realize that the author had written the Traveling Pants books. I didn't read them, but I did see the movies. After I requested the book, was approved, sat down to read it, saw her earlier books, I was all set for a great read. I was not disappointed at all.

This was definitely a very dysfunctional family. Three daughters were born to Robert and Lila. One daughter was born to Robert and Evie. One son was born to Lila and Adam. Together Robert and Lila shared a beach house. They took turns weekly sharing this beach house. Sasha and Ray who shared the three sisters, but weren't related, also shared a bedroom. You got all that?

Robert and Lila did not divorce amicably. They fought over every little detail. When the switch came to change families at the beach house, there was a time lag to make sure they didn't see each other. Also Robert and Evie did not sleep in the same bedroom as Lila and Adam. They each had their own separate bedrooms. When the older three shared children graduated, the families made sure they were on opposite sides of the auditorium. Sasha and Ray were 17 years old and had never seen each other. That's how determined Robert and Lila were to keep the families separated.

That being said, this was a great book portraying a lot from the eyes of Ray and how he dealt with this life. A story of irrational and immature parents, tragedy, family dysfunctions and sibling love that I truly enjoyed and did not want to leave. I really felt for the characters especially the younger ones who were being denied sharing a bond just because they were not blood relatives.

This is a book that will stay with you long after finishing the last page and leave you wanting more.

Thanks to Random House Children's for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-12-15 20:00
Sisterhood Everlasting
Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares

I originally thought Tibby had the worst storyline but on rereading it I realize it's actually Carmen (and Roberto et al). Looking back on the books, Carmen’s character seems the most inconsistent She also has no high school boyfriend/love interest to revive in this book (guess Win didn’t make the cut… he gets a one sentence mention). There was a weird change to her character in book 2 or 3 and again in 4 (not the big depression going to college change… like the cheating in Physics change) .

 

I liked Bee’s storyline the most in this book. Overall though I related to none of the characters. Really disappointing end to a series that I will remember fondly from my teen years (and never reread again).

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url 2016-11-11 08:24
The here and now
The Here and Now - Ann Brashares

I listened to the audio version of this and loved it.  The reader did the book justice.  For my review go to http://readlearnandshine.blogspot.co.nz/ or just click and you should be taken there

 

Happy reading

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