I’ve read most of Ann Brashares’ novels because when the Sisterhood series came out, I fell nicely into that age bracket. I’m currently reading some Stephen King, so 3 Willows seemed like a good book to read while I was lying in bed at night, too creeped out to sleep. Plus, I liked the “plug” on the cover: “the sisterhood grows.” Ultimately I think I should’ve been more wary of that, because they (the publishers? Brashares? book fairies?) literally meant the Sisterhood.
Quick summary: three girls, all about to start high school, all looking for herself. Ama is the brain, and she wins a scholarship to a summer program. Instead of getting sent to a prestiogious college, she has to endure an adventure course in the mountains where she can’t have any product to control her crazy hair. Jo spends the summer bussing tables while on vacation with her mom and falls for a gorgeous guy. And Polly? Polly’s mom is artsy, and a feminist, and has never told Polly anything about her family. When Polly finds out her grandma was a model (supposedly), she clings to this and decides she, too, wants to become model. The girls became friends when young, and have since drifted apart, but are always linked through the three willow trees they planed when they were young.
I thought this was an okay book. Truthfully, there wasn’t really anything special about it, and I feel like in many ways it tried too hard to recreate the magic of the Sisterhood. (One of the things that irritated me the most about it was its constant references to the Sisterhood books. In some ways this novel tried too hard to ride on its predecessors’ success, and it was very distracting.) A group of girls, who’ve drifted apart, reconnected by a mystical force (in this case, these willow trees). Meh. Read it before. Like five times, actually.
But that’s not to say this book is bad. It’s not. It would be an excellent book for its intended audience, which is probably late middle school or early high school. For older readers, it is predictable.
Overall Rating: 7/10