Thursday, 2 February 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: 3 Willows

This review is for my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge, to view more info on it go here.

Book Number: 9
Title: 3 Willows: A New Sisterhood Grows
Author: Ann Brashares
Date of Completition: 13/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

Being the total rebel that I am, decided to read 3 Willows before I have read The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants (don't worry I am going to read that too). I don't think it lessened my enjoyment of the novel in any way, I just didn't realise who Effie was until Lena came, but really that's nothing to the story. Sorry for taking so long to write another review I was on holiday for the last 12 days and had almost no contact with computers. The characters were nice, and sometimes relate-able and I grew to care for them. The 3 willows were a really good symbol for their friendship cos' although they are separate, they're always by each others sides and they grow together, with their branches and roots growing into each other but also spreading apart. I'm going to do this a bit differently to how I usually review because each person has their own seperate plot so I'll put my views on their plots with them. 

Why I Read It: I was decided to read The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants and I discovered that the author had also written this, since the characters were younger than the Sisterhood girls (even though I am the same age as the Sisterhood girls) I decided to read this first as the Sisterhood girls get older with each book  so chances are I will continue to like them, where as I will grow further away from the 3 Willlows girls as I get older.

Ama, Jo and Polly used to be the best of friends but as they've grown they have moved apart. Ama is less than thrilled when she gets forced into a wilderness trip instead of the academic course she wanted. She struggles with  bugs, dirt, physical, her slutty roommate, her untameable hair and being left out of the group. Jo has grown out of her old best friends, Ama and Polly, and has started working as a busgirl alongside her popular friend Bryn, she's still hasn't finished adapting to her new social status and realises its a whole different world at the top. After hearing that her grandmother was a model, Polly decides that she's going to become one too, but the modelling agencies have a very different idea of beauty. The girls learn who they can rely on, and try out new things, but is one summer enough to get them back to how they were before?

The Characters and their Plots: 
Ama - I found was the most relate-able character and the most relate-able story (although I think a lot of people would find Jo's story the most relateable). Like me Ama is more into the academic stuff rather than physical stuff, has frustrating hair, and doesn't like sweating, bugs etc  although I don't hate the great outdoors as she does. 

Jo - Well I've read plenty of stories about a girl who's trying to get into the popular group and realises that it's not as good as they made it out to be and that their old friends were better, so I was kind of meh, to this story, but it wasn't bad. It is not smart to make out with people who you don't know the names of, so don't do it, as Jo learnt. 

Polly - This plot just didn't seem as appealing, real, interesting and as good as the others. It seems as if Ann Brashare's kind of ran out of good plots for her girls after writing 4 bestselling Sisterhood books with four plots in each and then writing plots for Ama and Jo. Still, Polly faces an uphill battle and I liked how she found out that all this time that her mum was at her art studio she was drinking rather than making art, and how after her dream ends her mum and her friends support her after all the modelling people told her she wasn't good enough. 

Others - The supporting cast was decent, I liked how Polly's mum and Jo's dad supported their daughters even though they weren't that present in their daughters lives. 

The Writing: 
The writing was pretty good. I expected it to be in 1st person because these types of novels usually are, but it was fine in third person and you still got to get inside the characters heads. 

Other: Comparison to The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants 
Now that I've read both I can compare them, I didn't want to spend my whole review comparing this to the Sisterhood but you guys might want that, so I'll stick it in here. I already said before that the 3 willows were a great symbol for their friendship above, and they worked better than the Travelling Pants. Many people think the magical pants are stupid and unnecessary but I understand their symbolism and I like how it keeps the girls together even when they are apart. I liked The Septembers more than Ama, Jo and Polly, I just connected to them more and faster and their plots were better than the plots in 3 Willows.

For fans of The Sisterhood of travelling pants, and teenage female readers who are looking for a decent realistic fiction novel.

“There are moments in your life when the big pieces slide and shift. Sometimes the big changes don't happen gradually but all at once. That's how it was for us. That was the day we discovered that friends can do things for you that your parents can't.” 

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