1. The novel opens with a first-person narrative by Tibby. Why do you think the author selected this character to frame the story? Would you have selected another character, and if so, what would he or she say?
2. Epigraphs (short quotations) from a variety of sources–song lyrics, remarks by real-life personalities, fictitious sayings by the novel’s characters–are used to separate sections of the book. Which one is your favorite? Why?
3. Of the four girls, whom are you most like? Whose first year of college would you most like to follow?
4. "Our shared childhood is ending. Maybe we’ll never live at home again. Maybe we’ll never all live in the same place again. We’re headed off to start our real lives. To me that is awe-inspiring, but it is also the single scariest thought in the world" (p. 5). The girls realize that leaving for college is much bigger than leaving each other for just a summer. Do you think each of the girls is prepared to be away from her friends for an entire year? Whose first year do you most worry about? How would you prepare to leave your friends?
5. On page 3, Tibby compares each of the girls to a car. What kind of car would you be? Why?
6. "Tibby was a slow adjuster. In preschool, her teachers had said she had trouble with transitions. Tibby preferred looking backward for information rather than forward. As far as she was concerned, she’d take a nursery school report card over a fortune-teller any day of the week. It was the cheapest and best self-analysis around" (p. 10). By the end of the book, how has Tibby changed in her response to the new or unexpected? How have the other girls changed? Who has grown the most? How?
7. In both The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
and Girls in Pants
, Carmen feels she doesn’t belong in her family. How do her feelings differ from those of Bridget, Tibby, and Lena toward their families? Do the girls’ family relationships have an impact on their friendships? Are their perceptions of their situations valid, or do they sometimes overreact?
8. Do you think Lena and Kostos could have a future together? What would you suggest to Lena if she asked you for advice about Kostos and her feelings for him? What could Lena learn from Bridget and Eric’s relationship? What could Bridget learn from Lena?
9. Each of the girls has one person who pushes her toward self examination this summer. Carmen has Valia, Tibby has Katherine, Lena has Annik, and Bridget has Eric. What does each of the girls learn about herself through these influences? Do you have someone in your life who pushes you to learn new things about yourself?
10. "There was a funny thing about Carmen, and she knew it all too well: She could understand and analyze and predict the exact outcome of her crazy, self-destructive behavior and then go ahead and do it anyway" (p. 115). What do you think of Carmen’s "Good Carmen vs. Bad Carmen" descriptions? Do certain people draw out a "good" or "bad" version of you? Why?
11. The four girls have very different approaches to relationships and love. By the end of Girls in Pants
, three of them have found boyfriends with whom they are happy. Are there similarities in the ways the girls approach the search for love? Differences? Do you think their romantic relationships will change anything, good or bad, about their friendships?
12. The Pants have always provided the girls with confidence and security. If you were a member of the Sisterhood, would you adjust the rules to allow use of the Pants year-round for this first year of college? Why or why not?