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.

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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  • 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.

    2 out of 3 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.

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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.

    0 out of 2 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........

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2007

    Very One-Sided & Biased

    I am horrified about what the author experienced but I am extremely heart-broken that this book was so narrowly focused on ONE Greek system within ONE school! The sorority I am a part of and all of the sororities in my Greek system at my university are not even close to the sororities discussed in Pledged. I keep in touch with almost all of my sisters now that I've graduated and I don't know what I would do without them! If the author wanted to show the TRUE depiction of a sorority, she should have visited more schools and more chapters in order to compare them all. Some sororities may have sad traditions like the ones written about in this book but most of them do NOT. I know the author wanted to sell a product so I can see why she may have focused on the terrible stories from across the country involving sororities but she should have labeled her book as 'BIASED' because that is what it is. Look at all sides of a story and at both ends of a spectrum before writing a book and calling it truth!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    Interesting let down

    Although this book is very well organized, I personally think that the author should have spent more time researching. She only observed girls from the same university in Texas. To get an honest overlook on sororities, one would have to do research at every university. This book has so many secrets and facts that are definitely not true at each and every sorority chapter. I think rather than pointing the finger at Greek Life, we should observe the actions, decisions, and morals of an entire campus. Just because sorority girls have the stereotype of being ¿wild¿ does not mean the students who live in the dorms are innocent. This book was a bit of a let down to me because I pledged a sorority for reasons far from what was described in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2005

    I don't understand

    As a 'sorority girl' I feel that this book gives us a bad name. There was very little to nothing that was true to my sorority in this book. I think that perhaps it should have been clarified that not all chapters, and not all sororities are the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2005

    alumna of nation's largest international sorority

    Ok, we all need to stop and take a deep breath. This book was MEANT to get a reaction from both non-sorority readers and sorority members alike. This author never had the intention of being objective or fair and she definitely had a agenda. (I mean really look at the cover of the book)That being said, who cares ? Those of us ( like me ) who had wonderful experiences pledging our houses KNOW that the majority of what was 'reported' is false. I loved my sorority in college and I love being an alum advisor to new girls. I am sure there are many houses who DO engage in hazing, but that is sick and wrong and NOT what sororities are supposed to stand for. By being defensive about this book, 'we' just look guilty and seem to be acknowledging a dirty little secret that ( for me ) never existed. Personally, I think this book is silly and hope that people read it in book stores without actually buying it and giving this 'woman' more money. Um PS ladies naming your sororities specifically isnt the wisest thing to do, ritual is revealed in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2004

    FELT LIKE A COLLEGE TEXT BOOK

    This book was more like reading a college class text book. Although the drama with the sisters was interesting, I didnt get the feel of what it was like being a true sorority sister. Too many statistics and studies were in the book, put more about the four sisters that were followed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    What a disappointment

    I feel as though someone invaded my home and wrote about it. Actually that was my home during my college years and no matter how well some critics think it was written, it was and is an invasion of privacy of life that should not have been done. I hope any young girls who may happen to read this don't let it make them rule out soroity life in college. It can be one of the best experiences of your life. I was not one of the stereotypical soroity members. My sorority did not participate in any hazing activity. We were treated with dignity and as a member of the family. What a wonderful place I lived in college. I am disappointed in this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2004

    Realistic, but unfair

    I'm currently a greek member of a sorority on a large northeast campus. I understand that in the south sorority life is looked at much differently, but it still seemed as though all that was being portrayed was the stereotypical sorority girl. Thats not how it is everywhere. Also I think it was rude to put in the secrets and rituals that our houses hold; and if they had to be written, they should atleast have gotten them right.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2004

    take a deeper look

    Although there might be chapters out there where this book is true, I think for the majority of NPC chapters are no where near like what was described in the book. Maybe the author should have checked out more than one chapter/school before generalizing about all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2004

    Not All Sororities Are Bad

    I am a sister in a sorority and I would just like to state that not all sororities are like the one described in this book. I am not being biased, only truthful. My sisters have been nothing but nice and sweet...In addition, in my sorority we do not condone hazing and if it ever occured, there would be harsh consequences to the individual who tried to haze another soon-to-be sister. This book makes every greek org. look horrible, but not all of them are that way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    Perpetuating a Stereotype

    As a member of Delta Delta Delta at a private southern university, I can honestly say that most of the horrible things described in the book do not apply to ALL sororities or chapters because I know for a fact that they do not apply to MY sorority or chapter. Nationals forbid hazing, and I can't imagine the National Offices of other major NPC sororities condoning it. The rituals and ceremonies of ANY sorority are sacred, and Ms. Robbins could have told her story without violating the sanctity of them. I am not your typical sorority member, as I am significantly overweight, but at my school, my sorority represents girls who have CLASS, something that has been overlooked by many women today. Eating disorders, drug use, and promiscuity are prevelant in College period, within Greek Life or not. I think it is unfair to assume that her experience with one or two chapters is representative of Sorority or Greek life as a whole. Sisterhood is sacred, and these girls have truly become my best friends. I can't imagine any of them intentionally hurting me. We do not alienate our new pledges, we welcome them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2004

    The words 'honest' and 'Pledged' do not belong in the same sentence

    As a sorority member, I am infuriated and extremely disappointed by this book. I started out very excited to read this book with an open mind because I was very interested in knowing what an outsider thought about Greek Life. I admit some of the stereotypes are true, but the author's 'fast paced' tale about Greek Life does not present the whole picture. The only thing this book does is sensationalize the negative aspects of being Greek. As I read the introduction, I was sure the author was on the right path to describing a true and accurate tale of sorority life. I was grossly mistaken. For a person who is Greek, it is clear by the middle of the book that the author has her own agenda in mind. It is obvious that the author already has preconceived notions about Greek life and has tailored this book to evolve around her condescending opinion. She uses the terms 'trite' and 'pointless.' By doing this, the author trivializes sororities¿ actual commitment to scholarship, community, and sisterhood. The author decides to end her book with a list of things that need to be reformed in Greek Organizations. If the author had done her research, she would have already known that IFC and Panhellenic have already gone to great lengths to reform the Greek system and some of our practices to rid our organizations of hazing, lengthy pledging processes, and elaborate recruitments. The author did not succeed in presenting an 'honest' portrayal of sororities. The only thing she succeeded in doing was compromising her journalistic integrity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2004

    Food for thought...

    Although some of the stereotypes explored in this book are certainly found in many sororities today, I do find it to be a bit over exaggerated and presumptuous. The author speaks from the perspective of only experiencing one single sorority and being in a sorority myself, it does not sound at all 'typical' to me. This book sadly perpetuates the unfortunate stereotype of the sorority girl (not to say that there aren't those sisters out there who don't fit it to a 'T'). I would like to point out that it may have been beneficial for the author to have spent time with a number of sororities in different settings before making such harsh assumptions about the greek establishment as a whole.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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