Customer Reviews for

Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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 mo...
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.

posted by the_little_ballerina_girl on March 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 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.

    5 out of 7 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.

    4 out of 5 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.

    2 out of 3 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...

    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.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    LAME!!!!

    I usually enjoy non-fiction but this was pathetic.

    0 out of 2 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 June 28, 2006

    Not Accurate

    There is a saying among Greeks 'From the outside, you can never understand and from the inside, you can never explain it'. I think that Alexandra's book is unintentionally biased. She over emphasizes saying many of sororities and fraternities have certain practices when most Greeks I know have never heard of such things. She addresses hazing as it was a big issue across the nation, but a few weeks ago I attended a sorority conference where we discussed hazing and there were very few chapters who said they still hazed there hazing was also no where near the severity of what this book says is common. Her quotes at the beginning come from books that were published years ago and do not still have substantial content and meaning. Lastly, she is also very disrespectful to publish the rituals of the sororities that have lasted over a hundred years. I do think this book should be banned because it is difficult enough for Greeks to establish a good name without dealing with a bunch of garbage like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2006

    Horrible

    This book completely misrepresents sorority life. It may paint an accurate picture of one chapter, at one school, but it is unfair to say that this is the norm. I belong to a sorority where none of this behavior occurs, and to say that this book is representative of all sorority life is very hurtful. Most sororites are not like this, but writing about the possitives of sorority life would not sell books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Outsider Attempt to Portray from the 'inside' is a horrible read

    From the very start of this book Robbins states she wants to present a 'truthful-not necessarily negative- account of what sorority life is really like.' She then spends a paragraph underhandedly attacking sororities for refusing her request to present said views, sororities who she mocks for their values of friendship and purpose because they denied her access into their house. And without access she would have no story, no book, and no income...so voila! Robbins decides that since the high road was blocked, it is much easier to slither alone the low one. However, to get her 'truthful' account, she finds 4 girls willing to betray the national rules of their sorority. It is hard to believe a truthful view of sororites can come from shadowing 4 girls who obviously do not value sorority meaning enough to respect the national wishes. Already her view is prejudiced, and this is still in the introduction. If you want to read a bunch of statstics about the wrongs of a few Greek communities and conversations Robbins had with her 4 'outstanding' Greeks, and don't care for the truth or meaning of a sorority or Greek organization in general, this is the book for you (should you be able to work your way through the rather bland text). However, do not read this book expecting rush or sorority life to be as daunting and horrible as Robbins tries to portray. As she is an outsider, that is all her view can or ever will be. Her attempts to publish a collection of what sorority life is really about falls far short of that which sorority life really is, and she should be ashamed of herself for presenting her book in this manner. It is nothing more than her experiences spying on a group without their knowing and presenting the account she wanted, not which was the truth. However, Robbins does throw the 'true stories' in the mix as well...but if this is an example of her idea of non-fiction, I wouldn't put much store in those either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2005

    Don't believe what you read...Take it with a grain of salt

    I read this book and heard Ms. Robbins speak sbout it. While what she wrote about may have been true stories it was an account of situations that happened with TWO sororites at ONE university. Most Greeks don't behave like this. It is inaccurate and shows a stereotyped version of sororites. At her presentation, Ms. Robbins claimed that she gave both positives and negatives, but the positives were few and far between and clearly outweighed by the negatives. I was outraged at the fact that she gave away secrets. She belongs to a secret society herself and still thinks this is okay. I've been a member of a sorority for four years and I have never came across any of this type of behavior. If you do read this, just remember that this is a very isolated encounter and don't let it deter you from thinking about joining a sorority. Make that decision based on the women you meet at your university or college. Don't let one woman's warped view of sorority life scare you off.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    INACCURATE!

    This book is very misleading and inaccurate. Speaking from experience, most of the book couldn't be further from the truth. I am appalled!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2004

    Soap Opera!

    This book is for someone who inherently hates sororities girls for no reason and would like to hear 3 or so girls who in no way represent your average girl let alone your average sorority girl go on and on about how much they hate their friends/sisters and no one understands them (this includes an African-american/poor girl trying to sleep with her professor while in a rich traditionally white sorority, a daughter of a political figure in a physically abusive relationship with her boyfriend, not her sisters, and 2 model-beautiful but vapid girls who complain a lot about boys not liking them.) Robbins just seemed to want to find a good excuse to reveal one chapter about so called sorority 'secrets' all the while drivelling on and on about how sororities must be the reason these girls lives are miserable. Anyone with the internet and some time on their hands can get that same information from any sorority website (including *gasp* their sorority colors and sorority flowers!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2004

    how closed minded are people?

    As I read this book, it only took me a few pages to realize that this was a completely one sided look at greek life.I try to understand where the writer is coming from-but I can't. It comes up in the beginning, that she doesn't understand why anyone would do this (pledge), and you know what? It's not her's or anyone's to understand-the only ones that do understand why we pledge are those who are greek (and have a normal outlook on this life). Also, the fact that the sororities are put forth as superficial stupid skinny blondes who take advantage of boys and Daddy's money is completely proposterous. We arent at all like that. It is incredibly important to the organization and to all greeks in general that all women (& men) uphold truth and morality as two key values. It is also incredibly important that we have the grades. Many, if not all greek organizations have standards when it comes to academics. One cannot be initiated unless they have the grades. It is a very sad thing when people decide to bag on something they don't and will never understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    I don't think she put enough into researching this book.

    Researching one chapter does not give a person enough information to make a generalization about all NPC sororities. It doesn't even give her enough information to presume that she knows the characters of the entire membership of that chapter! Where are the books about the benefits of sorority membership? If I could have chosen 0 stars, that's what I would've picked.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2004

    Unbelievable!!!

    About the book and sorority life, I am in a Greek sorority and I have a few comments to make regarding the organizations. I feel that 'Pledged' was very misleading to many people who have not experianced the greek life. I feel that the things that supposedly take place in this book such as drinking and drugs happen in 'College life' not just 'Sorority life.' I happen to be in a sorority and carry a 4.0 GPA. Something that is very important to get into a sorority and also must be maintained during your greek experiance. College is college and whether you decided to participate in those activities or not, any college organization you go to you will find the same activities going on. And believe it or not, More members of the greek system graduate from college in 4 years than a non-greek student. I will be interested to see other sorority's input on this matter!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    In Shock

    I can not believe that she wrote the things that she did and the secrets that she told. These are personal things to many girls in many different sororites. I think that she has no clue what she is talking about and that this book should be taken off the market it does not reflect sorority life at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2004

    What about HBGLO

    I thought the book was OK--But there was no real mention of HBGLO {Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations} We have quite a history steeped in tradition..,, I think she missed a whole segment of sorority and upper class society

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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