Customer Reviews for

Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Yep

As expected and witnessed. Why do girls need sororities to feel good about themselves?

posted by 8972737 on January 22, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

An unbiased view?

Let me begin by stating that, yes, I am a member of a sorority. I heard about 'Pledged' through a sister and decided that I would give it a chance. I assumed that the writer would be giving readers an unbiased view of the Greek system, but quite frankly, after having be...
Let me begin by stating that, yes, I am a member of a sorority. I heard about 'Pledged' through a sister and decided that I would give it a chance. I assumed that the writer would be giving readers an unbiased view of the Greek system, but quite frankly, after having been both independent and Greek, I found this book to be very disappointing. The author picked four 'non typical' sorority girls, perhaps, but didn't bother to look at more than two sororities closely. I found the material in the book to be shocking and found myself saying, time and again, 'I've never heard of these things happening!' I found it to be very disrespectful that the author exposed secrets of Greek organizations. Many of these secrets are truly considered sacred to their Greek organizations. They are part of what makes the organization unique and by exposing the secrets, the author takes that individuality away. The author states that she is trying to look at the sororities with an unbiased eye, but I disagree completely. Throughout the book are implications that all sororities are full of alcoholics and drug users that sororities are loose and full of casual sex and that all of the sisters are constantly at each other's throats. None of those things are exclusive to sororities, and in fact, many Greek organizations have stringent rules against such things. Overall I was very disappointed in the book and would not recommend it to anyone who is looking for a look on the inside of Greek organizations. Honestly, in order for one to get a look inside, it is best for one to join. Greek life isn't something that someone should want to watch from the outside. Don't drag down the image of sororities, because many have been trying to move away from the stereotype! If you want to watch drama and catty fights, drug users and alcoholics, turn on the television.

posted by Anonymous on May 19, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    An unbiased view?

    Let me begin by stating that, yes, I am a member of a sorority. I heard about 'Pledged' through a sister and decided that I would give it a chance. I assumed that the writer would be giving readers an unbiased view of the Greek system, but quite frankly, after having been both independent and Greek, I found this book to be very disappointing. The author picked four 'non typical' sorority girls, perhaps, but didn't bother to look at more than two sororities closely. I found the material in the book to be shocking and found myself saying, time and again, 'I've never heard of these things happening!' I found it to be very disrespectful that the author exposed secrets of Greek organizations. Many of these secrets are truly considered sacred to their Greek organizations. They are part of what makes the organization unique and by exposing the secrets, the author takes that individuality away. The author states that she is trying to look at the sororities with an unbiased eye, but I disagree completely. Throughout the book are implications that all sororities are full of alcoholics and drug users that sororities are loose and full of casual sex and that all of the sisters are constantly at each other's throats. None of those things are exclusive to sororities, and in fact, many Greek organizations have stringent rules against such things. Overall I was very disappointed in the book and would not recommend it to anyone who is looking for a look on the inside of Greek organizations. Honestly, in order for one to get a look inside, it is best for one to join. Greek life isn't something that someone should want to watch from the outside. Don't drag down the image of sororities, because many have been trying to move away from the stereotype! If you want to watch drama and catty fights, drug users and alcoholics, turn on the television.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Like a michael moore film: completley biased and based on opinion

    she is so full of it. i wanted to join a sorority before i started reading this book, and at the end i was disgusted and didnt want to join anymore. i got to near the end before i was so turned off that i finished the book. she made me not want to join a sorority.
    but then, in my sophmore year of college, i actually did join a sorority. and its NOTHIGN like what she said. and i go to a big school! using alchohol in the pancake batter? that would NEVER happen. first, any panhellenic event must by dry (no alcohol) and each sorority has strict rules against drinking at a social-- let alone a philanthropy. even outside of events, drinking isnt allowed in the house!! so that never happened. i could go on and on but whats the point? the women who are in sororities know the truth.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Real Life Sorority Life

    I had heard about this book before I joined a sorority, but didnt read it until after i was initiated. I liked the thought of this book because i thought it would show that sorority girls arent all rich and snobby and blond and slutty, because i am certainly not any of those things. this book did not do that. it took a look at the lives of girls who dont fit into their sorority. she should have also portrayed girls who enjoy taking part in their sororities. i understand that hazing still happens...although i can honestly say i was not hazed and neither were any of my sisters...pledged went into more detail about the drama that the girls she followed had...but what you have to understand is that anytime you get that many girls together there is going to be drama...and even from reading this book or trying to research greek life, you can;t understand what it is all about unless you are a part of it.

    i also think that it is incredibly disrespectful to share a sororities rituals with people. i understand people may be interested in what happens, i cannot believe that someone could expose a sacred event in a secret society.

    And you would think robbins would have done her research a little more accuratly: on page 281 she states that in 1870 kappa alpha theta became the first sorority ever...im a little confudsed because the chapter before that she talks about alpha delta pi, which was founded in 1851. if you do the math properly i think adpi is the first sorority ever. if it wasnt i dont think they would be saying first finest forever.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    DISRESPECTUFL

    I am a current member of a Greek Organization and I think it is completely disrespectful to print the secrets of the sororities. As someone who has a had a positive experience with a sorority, I am utterly disgusted.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Someone didn't get a bid...

    Someone didn't get a bid...

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Yep

    As expected and witnessed. Why do girls need sororities to feel good about themselves?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    As a completely innocent, third party bystander

    As someone who hasn't gone to college yet, I don't really think that it would be completely fair of me to judge this book on how it portrays the Greek system. However, I am planning to pledge to a sorority when I do go to college in the fall and this book did give me more information on the mysterious lifestyle than the countless movies have portrayed as somewhat caddy and cliquish. I am personally glad that I read this book before I went to college; it gave me more insight on the Greek life than I didn't have previously and made me even more sure that I do want to rush in the fall. While the picture painted by Robbins isn't always the most glamorous, and has not been accepted as even remotely true by many of those who are part of the Greek system, it did not detour my previous wishes to become a part of the life that she judges. In the book, Robbins follows four sorority girls at a school she nicknames State U as to protect their identities. It follows their IM away messages, rush week, trials and tribulations, as well as the many events that they attended as part of being in a sorority. The life is not always glamorous, but then again what life can claim to be prefect? A theme that runs throughout the entire book is the stereotypes that have been attached to the Greek system and how, through the help of the four girls, Robbins searches to find our which ones are true and which ones are false and even which ones have been over/under exaggerated . One thing I did like about the book is while it may be a tad bit bias, leaning more towards those who are not a part of Greek life and only judge them by stereotypes that have been kept alive for numerous decades, it does let people know some of what does go on in college Greek life. While some of it did scare me to read (like the 'spectrums' or the 'little sister program' just to name a few), it was well worth it. Overall this book was one of the best books I have read in a long time. While, like I said earlier, it may be a bit bias, I still think that the overall views and questions it brings up are real. Other books that Robbins wrote are called Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and Hidden Path of Power, Quarterlife Crisis: the Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties, and The Overachievers: the Secret Lives of Driven Kids.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2008

    written well with some truth

    I found her book to to focus on the negative sides of the greek system and took extremely negative examples. On my campus some of these issues do occur within the greek system but not to the extent in which she is implying bc if it were the case in all cases the greek system would be outlawed. Also most of the negative topics go on outside of the greek system just as often or more often than within. Why else would of the nation's 50 largest corporations, 43 be headed by Greeks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

    This was a very easy read but in my opinion for the most part th

    This was a very easy read but in my opinion for the most part this book talked a lot about the negatives of sororities and not the positives. It talked about the psychological abuse, racism, stereotypes, and the typical drinking and partying all the time. I was surprised about the abuse some girls put themselves through, getting into drugs, and becoming anorexic or bulemic just so that they looked good enough or acted as expected. The book had a lot to do with stereotypes and was very typical.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    A proud Non-Greek

    I am not associated with the greek lifestyle but have friends who are. Everyone says how disrespectful it is but I found the book to be a good representation of how sorority girls behave and act as a whole. I know that they dont all behave in this way but the ones I know, do. This is a good read, although alarming, shocking and infuriating that this kind of behavior is tolerated by "sisters."

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Horrible

    Why would you write such a book! This is awful, and say secrets from organizations that are held dear and near to our hearts. I have had a great experience and nothing of these alcoholic scandals have happen. What kind of research did this lady even do. This is terrible.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    Pledged: Ripping into the Secrets of Sororities

    Pledged tells the story of four college girls learning to survive in the tough world of sororities. The author, Alexandra Robbins, goes undercover and follows them through one year of their college life, in which they go through many extreme situations. Three of the four girls are raped, many girls go out binge drinking, and many drugs are used throughout the year. This book gives a real perspective on sororities. It doesn't sugar coat them and make them seem like a fairy tail. It shows the good, bad, and the ugly of today's sororities. The crux in this novel is part where one of the girls gets raped by a popular fraternity brother. The fraternity that the brother belonged too was one of the most popular fraternities at the college. When the young sorority girl was raped, she bravely told on the guy and turned him into the police. When word got out about what she did, the fraternity and sorority of which they belonged to were mad at the girl, not the guy. The fraternity was mad because it put a dent in their reputation. The sorority was mad because they no longer were invited to hang out with that particular fraternity. The sorority member that was raped was too embarrassed to show her face around the college anymore. She eventually dropped out of the sorority and the school. This part of the book really showed what sororities are all about in today's society.
    I really enjoyed the journal entries in Pledged. Alexandra Robbins really made her stories come to life and it was very easy to feel the pain or even happiness of the four sorority members at any time. Pledged consists of random journal entries about each girl, normally followed by facts about sororities in general. What I didn't like about the book was the facts. Yes, they gave great insight, but they were often long and hard to read. My attention often went elsewhere as I tried to read those parts of the book. There was no excitement in these sections of Pledged and I think that readers may put the book down during these parts and may not pick it up again. If the book consisted of more journal entries and less fact, then I think it would be a great read.
    The author, Alexandra Robbins decided to report and write this book to give the outsiders incite into what goes on in sororities. If you have never been a part of a sorority then you may think of movies such as Legally Blonde, Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds. Pledged, gives readers a real, viscous look inside the life of sorority members. Alexandra Robbins has written for a variety of newspapers, including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan. She has appeared on shows such as, The Smart Woman Survival Guide, The O'Reilly Factor, 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Today Show. She has also written books on secret societies at Yale and wrote a revealing book about President Bush. Robbins is defiantly not afraid to go undercover and give the world insight on topics that are normally very secretive.
    If you are very interested in sororities or may be thinking about joining one, then I would recommend reading this book. If you are someone who is just looking for a good read, then I would not recommend it. It can be challenging at times to keep your full attention on reading and enjoying it at the same time. If you liked Pledged, then you may also like, "Secrets of the Tomb". Another book written by Alexandra Robbins in which she writes abo

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    LAME!!!!

    I usually enjoy non-fiction but this was pathetic.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    sadly, just what I expected

    I enjoyed a pretty diverse college experience in that I was an independent for 2 years before going Greek. I transferred my junior year and knew that I would want to involve myself in the Greek community on campus. If you ask my opinion, anytime you put 30 girls together in a house regardless of what organization they do or do not belong to, similar things will happen. I have met some incredible women through my sorority, and I have met some women who engage in the activities Ms. Robbins describes who do not belong to any organization whatsoever. It's obvious she only investigated chapters that she knew would back up age old stereotypes, and that is not journalism. Yes, some of this does occur -- but not ONLY in sororities. The revealing of secrets was an obvious ploy to get more readers. It was incredibly disrespectful and did not add to the points the author was trying to make whatsoever. Had Ms. Robbins done some fact-checking, she would have found the secret revealed about Pi Beta Phi was in fact, reported incorrectly.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    Amazing until the end

    I was very impressed with most of this book. I think that it was interesting, but not something that I, as a sorority sister have experienced. I found the book very intriguing until I got towards the end. I was very upset with the fact that the author so easily gave away some secrets of certain sororities, such as XO hand shake. I am personally in AOTT, but I felt uncomfortable reading about other sororities sacred things. Anyway, if someone wasn't greek, they would have the completly wrong steroetype........

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Well-written and captivating

    Good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    True

    I had a friend who is in a sorority..... a part of the rushing the sisters made her induce vomiting and forbade her from washing herself for almost a week......she talked about it like it was nothing. In fact, she offhandedly described the night she as arrested by campus police for an outrageously high blood alcohol level.....with four pledges in her car that she hadn't let shower for a week and a half. Kudos to the author for exposing the disgraceful and unnacceptable behavior of sororities.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    Typical College Experience

    The best part of the book is the end when the author outlines some steps to take to help reform practices. This behavior is not limited to Greeks, look at team/club sports and you'll find similar behavior on most campuses. As with any experience, you get out of it what you put in, it's important to remember that while reading. I wish the girls highlighted had been from four different sororities with different focuses.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    not very good

    This is a completely one sided look at Greek life. It seems to me that the author probably rushed in college and didn't get a bid to a sorority so she decided to write a book about Greeks as revenge. Yes, a lot goes on within sororities. However, these things are NOT just unique to Greek Life. She makes it seem as though drug use, drinking, and eating disorders are things that only go on if you are Greek. WAKE UP! This is what ALL of college is like. It just so happens to be that because there are a lot of girls, sororities are easy to target. These things will happen reguardless of someone being a member of a sorority. She fails to look at any positive aspects of Greek life, and trust me, there are many. I go to a college where the overall GPA of Greeks is almost .5 higher upon graduation. Greeks are historically known to be more involved on campus, making up the largest majority of things like Student Government and Service Clubs. And the fact that she went to only one chapter at one university, does not show much for her research. Sororities are very different, depending on where you are. In short, she really should stop being bitter that she wasn't good enough to be in a sorority and get on with her life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    When I finally found the time to read 'Pledged' I was very excited. I thought that maybe someone had decided to finally write something about Greek life that was unbiased. In the case of 'Pledged' I found that hope crushed. Robbins chooses to take a very negative point of view. Many of the things she talks about in the book I find hard to believe. Like drinking in a sorority house or allowing boys to spend the night in the house. I can hardly believe that things of that nature are even possible. I have a feeling that she dramatized many of the events. I was also very offended when she claimed that 'white' sororities do not focus on community service. Last year my sorority donated over $25,000 to our philanthropies. She claims that maybe once a year sororities participate in their own philanthropic activities. In my case it is usually once a month. She fails to mention that every girl in a sorority is required to meet a certain number of philanthropy hours. I feel like many of the girls that Robbins chose to interview did not belong in a sorority and had a negative attitude from the beginning. Robbins also highlights the girls' sexual lives. She basically insinuates that all sorority girls act in this way. She also claims that 'white' sororities do not have as strong of a sisterhood bond as 'minority' sororities. I don't feel like either 'group' could ever claim to have a stronger sisterhood than the other. Overall the book is a page turner but Robbins is extremely biased. It is the typical 'outsider' view of Greek life. She is what many consider 'the girl who could never fit in.'

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