Friday, November 21, 2008

3 Willows

3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows (3 Willows) Ann Brashares. First I want to thank our Random House Rep, Toni for dropping off this arc. Though I have been blogging for awhile now I am still a bookseller with little to no connections (leaning more towards the n0) , so when it comes to arc's I take want I am given and don't dream big. So it never even crossed my mind that I would see 3 willows before its release date of January 13. 3 Willows stars Polly, Jo, and Ama. The three were once very close but they've started to drift apart. The story takes place in the summer before they're to begin high school. 3 Willows is easy to fall into and love. It's set in the same town has the infamous girls of the traveling pants. Though the story of their friendship is legendary its clear early on that the story is about Polly, Jo, and Ama. Brashares does an excellent job of passing the torch. The girls meet in third grade, where their teacher made each student care for a plant. When the school year ended the girls planted their willows together in the woods. Brashares alternates the telling of the story between each girl and they talk about now and then. Polly wants to know more about her father but her mother has nothing to say. Now Polly has a dream she believes will get her closer to her fathers side of the family. Jo's at the summer beach house with her mother. Their family has not been the same since her brother died. Ama a straight A student is off to an unwanted wilderness retreat. There's beautiful smoothness to Brashares writing, this novel is very hard to put down. The characters are funny, endearing and real. Though the summer is difficult, and the girls are lead astray several times by many things including insecurities, boys, and so-called new friends they find a way to survive.
Time to Share

Ama meets the other campers and does The Count.
She surveyed the color array of her group and found it nearly all white. There was an Asian girl. She wouldn't suffer over her hair. There was a kid who was possibly Hispanic. No one besides Ama was black. Or African American, as her teachers preferred to say. She was getting a sinking suspicion about why she had been placed here. Everybody needed a black er, African American kid. Who cared if she hated the out doors and yearned for a library? They probably needed a black kid for the picture on their Web site. Before I share something else I want to say after I read that, I loved Ann Brashares even more. I know its a little thing but its the little things that can tilt a book, and Ama doing The Count was spot on.

The girls plant the willows-
We dug with our fingers because we forgot to bring a trowel. We pulled out rocks and tried not to disturb the worms too much because Polly insisted we needed their help. We carefully undid the root balls. It was like untangling hair. We tucked them into the dirt.

Just like the Sisterhood in the Traveling Pants series the 3 Willows series is golden. Since the book doesn't come out until Jan. 13, there's still time to check the Random House website, and find out if Brashares will be signing in your city. I entered found out she will be in Atlanta but no where near my bookstore. The book received a starred Publishers Weekly review. Also Sally Lodge did a great Q&A with the author for Publishers Weekly Q&A with Ann Brashares

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