So I finished reading 3 Willows by Ann Brashares last night (or I should say this morning). It's been in my stack of books to read, and since it came out fairly recently I wanted to hurry and get it read so that I could get a review up. When I say that I stayed up into the early hours of the morning to finish the book, that may not mean that I necessarily found so good I couldn't put it down. This would actually be the opposite. I thought it was okay. I probably won't ever read it again, and will most likely never buy it, which I'm sad to say because I love Ann Brashares. This was a disappointing start to a new series that seems too caught up in the rediscovering of friendship between 3 girls that it looses its charm (and my interest). I appreciate that Brashares has begun a new series, and so bravely after her successful Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, but this one flopped. I had high hopes for this book and was so ecstatic to get a copy of it at the library, but found quickly why there weren't as many people on hold for it as I thought there would be.
3 Willows tells the story of three girls who used to be good friends: Jo, Ama, and Polly. Each girl is doing something different for the summer - Jo is going to her family's beach house, Ama is accepted into an outdoor scholastic camping program, and Polly is contemplating modeling camp. At the start of the novel you realize that each girl has fallen out of their friendship threesome, and now only have awakward run-ins with one another. However, the way in which the stories tie together seem to promise a friendship reunion. Each storyline is unique and individual to the girl, but the only part of the novel that I liked was when one of the main characters ends up making a special connection with her dad. That was just about the only part of the book that I could relate to and that I found interesting whatsoever. This book wasn't my cup of tea, but who knows, it could be yours.
*Also, a side note, the original Sisterhood members (Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby) are mentioned (and one of them makes a cameo), and Lena's younger sister Effie has a small role in one of the girl's summers. It was really weird to read their commentary about how obsessed they were with finding an object, like the pants, that could help solidify their friendship. My policy on things like this is that authors shouldn't mention characters from their previous works, even if the setting is in the same town and school, unless they're writing sequels. It just doesn't work out- it makes the author look like they can't write/sell anything after their greatest success without mentioning it, and it just leaves that reader frustrated, especially if the current book being read isn't that great.