August 11, 2021 7:34 AM EDT

Friends since birth, teenagers Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen discover a unique way to stay connected while life takes them in new directions: by sharing a pair of second-hand jeans that miraculously fit them all. Sharing these pants becomes a lifeline for the friends as they navigate a significant summer—months that propel them from adolescence into adulthood, each in different ways. The girls mail the jeans to each other in their different locations, from South Carolina, where Carmen is visiting her estranged father, to Mexico, where Bridget is pining after a crush at soccer camp, to Greece, where Lena is discovering first love, and back home in Maryland, where Tibby is stuck working at the local drugstore. Throughout, Brashares flips between their perspectives and captures the ferocity with which friends can carry each other through the most challenging moments, even when they aren’t physically close. The 2001 book, the first in a beloved series, was adapted to film in 2005 with Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel starring as the tight-knit friends. —Annabel Gutterman

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