Posts Tagged 'drinking'

Five Summers by Una LaMarche

five summers

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  378

RAC:  Yes

This book follows four girls who have spent five summers at camp together over the years.  The first summer was when they were ten and the last is a reunion weekend when they are 17.  When they go to the reunion they had not actually all four been together for three years.  The last night of camp three years ago they all had secrets from each other that have been threatening to come out ever since.  Will they still be as close as they were all these years later?  How have things changed since they last saw each other?

Fans of friendship books such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and  Peaches will enjoy this title.  Maddy, Jo, Skylar, and Emma are four completely different girls who inexplicably came together as best friends.  The secrets they have from each other of course bubble to the surface, but their friendship is stronger than they even thought.  The feelings and motivations of the girls are well described and it’s hard not to care about them even if it is a little hard to believe they would be this close from just interacting at summer camp.  There are some tough issues addressed such as betrayal, sex, poverty, and divorce.

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Three Willows by Ann Brashares

cover-3-willows

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 318 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Ama, Jo, and Polly are three friends who met in 3rd grade and have drifted a bit over the last few years. In the summer before their freshman year of high school they each take a different journey. Ama reluctantly takes an opportunity to go on a wilderness adventure in which she can earn school credit.   In order to get credit, however, she has to survive to the end and rappel off of a mountain. Jo goes to her family’s summer home with her mother and gets a job at a restaurant. Polly decides to go to a modeling clinic. Ama has a difficult time adjusting to her wilderness adventure because she is weak, slow, and seems to get hurt a lot. She thinks about giving up and going home several times, but she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about her real feelings. Jo realizes that her parents’ marriage is in trouble and makes some bad choices over the summer in order to avoid dealing with it. Polly feels very lonely with no friends and a mother who spends all of her time in her workshop. She responds by putting herself on a strict diet. As the three struggle with their personal problems they all realize how important it is to keep your true friends close.

Those who were fans of the original sisterhood books will like this story. The writing style is the same and it is easy to care about these three girls and the struggles they have to deal with over this very important summer. The girls from the traveling pants series are mentioned briefly, but it is not a sequel to those books. Instead, it is a book about friendship with three new girls. These girls are a bit younger than the traveling pants girls, but they will find an audience who cares about them and wants to hear what happens to them after they start high school. The transition to high school is a time of many changes for young girls and that is illustrated beautifully in this story as each girl struggles with different challenges and finds inner strength she never knew she had. Brashares knows how to write very relatable and interesting teenage girls.


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