Ann Brashares, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (373p) ISBN 978-0-385-72934-5

Brashares returns to the beloved characters she brought to life in her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, for a new installment that's equally authentic and engaging. The story again rotates through the perspectives of lifelong friends Carmen, Lena, Tibby and Bridget, who stay connected during their summer adventures with help from a shared pair of jeans that look fantastic on each of them, despite their "different sizes and shapes." This time they struggle with their relationships with their mothers. Carmen sabotages her mother's new romance, slowly realizing that she's really afraid of someone coming between them. Meanwhile, depressed Bridget visits her estranged grandmother in Alabama, masquerading as a stranger; she faces her mother's past (she committed suicide years ago), and also learns, to her relief, that she is not exactly like her. Though initially hard to swallow, Bridget's story line is ultimately deeply moving. A few plot strands seem unnecessary (e.g., Lena's instant love connection with Carmen's step-brother after a devastating heartbreak) and readers unfamiliar with the first book may have a little trouble catching up. But these quibbles are easily overlooked in light of the full-bodied characters and their loving, often humorous interactions. Throughout the summer, the girls send each other emails and packages, and lend support ("You will never never never ever ever ever run out of chances. Don't you know that?" Bee writes to Carmen). The pants, meanwhile, don't start out magical, but end up being a symbol of strength to all. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-0-552-55050-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-0968-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-5682-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-33198-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 425 pages - 978-0-553-49501-0
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-0-8072-1615-6
Paperback - 373 pages - 978-0-385-73105-8
Compact Disc - 7 pages - 978-0-7393-3922-0
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-4941-0
Prebound-Sewn - 373 pages - 978-0-7569-5093-4
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-7862-5545-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-1969-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-89024-6
Hardcover - 373 pages - 978-0-385-73243-7
Library Binding - 373 pages - 978-0-385-90852-8
Hardcover - 978-5-550-15413-7
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-0-8072-0967-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-572-8
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