I am currently reading Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares, the fourth and final novel in the Traveling Pants series (sort of? there is a fifth novel set ten years after this one that is usually not considered part of the series, but also a direct continuation of it aimed at an older audience). I enjoyed the first three, but have somehow never actually read this one before, so I decided I should get to it.
The four girls are all in college now and have complex relationships, hopes, and baggage, much of which was explored in the previous books. But they are more separate than they have ever been before in this book (or at least, they feel more separate, since they have in actually been separate quite a bit before).
I’m not far into it, but it’s clear that a big issue in this book is going to be finding your own adult identity and figuring out what the space you will occupy in the world looks like. There’s a transition between childhood and adulthood that happens partway into college that the girls are largely facing at this point. Where is home? Who is family? What is my “thing”? There are struggles with their families, complicated friendships and romances to untangle, and personal identity crises going on that should keep this book as complex as the others.
The book started by saying the pants had to change because the girls and their needs did, but since I have barely seen the pants yet, I’m not sure how. But I’m curious. It has always served as a link between the girls and tangible token of how they are both all the same and all different. So how will it change now and why? What do they need from the pants in this story that they didn’t in previous stories? That said, one would think that a pair of pants worn as a teenager wouldn’t remain a staple part of most peoples’ wardrobes forever!
So, obviously, I’m intrigued and enjoying this so far. Like previous books, each of the girls both appeals to me and annoys me in her own way. I think that this is a good thing, since it’s a quality that real people tend to have – we don’t entirely like or not like very many people, most are a mixture somehow. So I am looking forward to see what happens in this book and how the series is wrapped up.