EW Staff
January 24, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

In this charming third installment of Ann Brashares’ best-selling pre-chick-lit series, four lifelong friends take turns slipping back into a totemic pair of thrift-store jeans. The Traveling Pants miraculously fit each perfectly and bond them together over the summer after graduating high school, before they head to separate colleges in the fall (assuming Lena can devise a way to pay for art school, in defiance of her conservative dad). Without glossing over real teen issues — the emotional consequences of sex, one mom’s secret pregnancy, and, yes, what to wear to the senior party — Brashares delivers a fun and poignant coming-of-age story with Girls in Pants.

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