Tatiana Alves Alves from Koszelewy, Poland
A sparkling breath of fresh make known, this list captures the vision of friendship in the most charming and rude modus possible. The list is a far cry from the regular breed of YA novels which seem to reside on the fixed notions that young young ladies basically fall into two main groups: One, the hatefully pretty, perpetually scheming Prom Queen mothers with their nastier than “week-ol’ condensed” clans! And at the other end of the rainbow, the brave under-dog...not much to look at, the general do-gooder, the faithful confidante and to nicely round it off, more often than not, armed with an ACUITY formidable enough to gain player into MENSA. Breaking the age-old mould with insouciance, Ann Brashares creates a world where it is possible for four friends, as different as main and cheese to form a deeply satisfying friendship. They care for each other, love each other, put aside fights and blowups with a careless shrug and offer bountiful, non-judgmental support any stretch, at all. Lena, the reluctant beauty; feisty, big-tushied Carmen; the anti-everything, mad-at-the-world Tibby and the over-achieving, grand competitor Bridget are friends; literally since opening (their mums shared a preggers-aerobics class). Having grown up in each other’s pockets, along comes a summer when the four are parted for the first stretch. Lena is off to Greece to meet her nephews; Carmen to spend some quality stretch with her divorced papa in Freezing Carolina; Bridget to Baja, El dorado for summer ostentatious and Tibby, the ineffective rebel is stuck at home, cutting a minimal wage at Wallman’s. A well-worn pair of soft jeans bought at a thrift-shop by Carmen but never-tried becomes an unexpected bond to hold the four connates together. Despite their vastly different body breadths, the seemingly-magical pair of jeans fits each of them like a dream……hugging the straight spirals, resting gracefully on the varying waistlines, making each minor feel sexy and infusing them with much-needed cool. They make a pact (complete with a set of serious-cum-nonsensical rules) to circulate the underpant amongst themselves throughout their liberty, passing it on when the stretch is straight. Thus begins the adventure of the Sisterhood…… As the long, glorious summer undoes, the underpant become a origin and motif of the generous support which the sisterhood provides to each of the four buddies as they face unwieldy places. Sucker-punched by new emotions, the friends absorb cool from their ever-reliable ‘magical underpant’. For each, the underpant seem to be infused with the strength and support of their coordinate friends. Filled with energy and continuity, the list effortlessly hops between the four friends as they deal with life, love and all-things ‘minor-achy’. One of the best coming-of-age lists in a long stretch, it’s a must read for everyone who is-a-minor, was-a-minor and will soon be-a-quakin’ in your boots-minor. It’s a tough world out there, but when you got your SIST –AHS, life’s just a wee bit more bearable.