Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel

( 35 )

Overview

Fans of Beautiful Disaster will devour Diana Peterfreund’s Ivy League novels—Secret Society Girl, Under the Rose, Rites of Spring (Break), and Tap & Gown. At an elite university, Amy Haskel has been initiated into the country’s most notorious secret society. But in this power-hungry world where new blood is at the mercy of old money, hooking up with the wrong people could be fatal.
 
Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to ...
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Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel

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Overview

Fans of Beautiful Disaster will devour Diana Peterfreund’s Ivy League novels—Secret Society Girl, Under the Rose, Rites of Spring (Break), and Tap & Gown. At an elite university, Amy Haskel has been initiated into the country’s most notorious secret society. But in this power-hungry world where new blood is at the mercy of old money, hooking up with the wrong people could be fatal.
 
Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to be tapped into Rose & Grave. She isn’t rich, politically connected, or . . . well, male. So when Amy is one of the first female students to receive the distinctive black-lined invitation with the Rose & Grave seal, she’s blown away. Could they really mean her?
 
Whisked off into an elaborate initiation rite, Amy awakens the next day to a new reality and a whole new set of “friends”—from the gorgeous son of a conservative governor to an Afrocentric lesbian activist whose society name is Thorndike. And that’s when Amy starts to discover the truth about getting what you wish for. Because Rose & Grave is quickly taking her away from her familiar world of classes and keggers, fueling a feud and undermining a very promising friendship with benefits. And that’s before Amy finds out that her first duty as a member of Rose & Grave is to take on a conspiracy of money and power that could, quite possibly, ruin her whole life.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Peterfreund’s descriptions of the ambitious Amy Haskel’s collegial life are both vivid and amusing."—The New York Observer

"Readers will cheer on the not-so-underdog as she faces disgruntled male alumni and finds that membership does indeed have privileges."—Tampa Tribune

"A fun, breezy, beach-perfect diversion … with a myriad of cultural and intellectual references to everything from Eyes Wide Shut to Aristotle's Poetics."—Winston Salem Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
Yale grad Peterfreund sets her debut novel at the fictional Ivy League school of Eli University. Literary magazine editor Amy Haskel, a junior at Eli, expects to get tapped for a middle-of-the-road campus society, which would fill out her resume nicely. Instead, abducted by mysterious men in black-hooded cloaks, she joins the most elite society, Rose & Grave, a.k.a. Diggers. Conflict arises because not everyone wants women to join the once men-only society. The opening pages suggest intrigue, but the book is more of a coming-of-age story as Amy learns to appreciate herself and find sisterhood with her fellow Diggers. Perhaps because it is the first installment in the "Secret Society Girl" series (the second is due in summer 2007), the novel feels more like an introduction to the characters than a finished narrative. With much of the book devoted to college hijinks such as drinking and hooking up, it is likely to have more appeal for twentysomething readers. Appropriate for large popular fiction collections, especially those serving college populations. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/06.]-Lisa Davis-Craig, Canton P.L., MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An intimate glimpse at an elite college's secret clubs. Amy Haskel, a harried literature student at Eli University (a thinly veiled Yale, the author's alma mater) is concerned about her future. An Ivy League diploma no longer guarantees career success, and Amy can't rely on influential parents to secure her prosperity. For Amy, landing a coveted editorial position upon graduation can only be achieved through Herculean efforts. She studies maniacally and uses her scant spare time to pad her resume. Her latest achievement, nabbing the editor-in-chief spot at Eli's literary magazine, leaves Amy feeling optimistic. She's a shoo-in for Eli's literary society, Quill & Ink. Soon Amy is whisked away to a clandestine location for a ritualistic initiation. To her surprise, she learns she hasn't been tapped by the writer's guild after all, but instead by Rose & Grave. For the first time in the group's storied history, Rose & Grave has decided to tap, or initiate, women. Rose & Grave is Eli's most exclusive club, whose members include U.S. presidents and captains of industry. The club's trust fund hovers in the tens of millions. Amy is smitten with her fellow Rose & Grave initiates and the splendid perks of membership. But the party doesn't last long. Infighting breaks out in the society and Amy has to prove herself worthy of her powerful new friendships. While the plot is a winner, Peterfreund's writing is thin and the novel feels best suited for teens. The heroine comes off as insecure and out of her league-which would be charming if Amy would ever reveal some prowess as a leader and unleash her intellect. This is the first in a series; let us hope Peterfreund polishes her prose and educates herheroine before the next installment. The impressive plot earns this project a B, but the banal dialogue and wimpy heroine downgrade it to a C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440243892
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Ivy League Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 487,065
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Peterfreund graduated from Yale University in 2001 with degrees in geology and literature. A former food critic, she now resides in Washington, D.C. Her previous two novels, Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose, are available now from Delta.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It all began on a day in late April of my junior year. I was in my dorm room, for once, trying to squeeze in a load of laundry between a tuna salad sandwich in the dining hall and my afternoon lecture on War and Peace, or as I like to think of it, WAP. (That’s not an acronym, by the way, but onomatopoeia. It’s the sound the hefty volume makes when I drop it on my desk.) Professor Muravcek’s* lectures tended toward the impenetrable side and I wanted to spend some time brushing up on my notes. I was tilting toward a B in that class, which was unacceptable if I wanted to graduate with honors in the major. However, it was either laundry or rushing out that night to buy a new package of underwear. You know you’re desperate when trekking downtown to GAP Body is easier than waiting for a free dryer.

But neither Tide nor Tolstoy was in the cards for me that afternoon. I’d just finished disentangling my disentangling my fuchsia lace thong (Friday night date panties) from the legs of my “going out jeans” and was on my way out the door with a load of darks when the phone rang.

Crap. It was probably my mom. She seemed to have a divine sense of when I’d be in my room.

I balanced the basket on my hip and picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Amy Maureen Haskel?”

“You got her,” I said, shaking one of my balled-up gym socks free.

“Your presence is required at 750 College Street, room 400, at two o’clock this afternoon.”

Two o’clock was in fifteen minutes. “Who is this?”

“750 College Street, room 400. Two p.m.” And then the line went dead.

I plopped back onto the faded couch, strewing tank tops and pj bottoms across the floor. Talk about rotten timing. There was no question in my mind who it was on the other end of the phone. Quill & Ink was the “literary” senior society on campus, the usual refuge for scribblers of all varieties. It boasted several well-known writers amongst its alumni, and as the current editor-in-chief of the campus literary magazine, I knew I was a shoo-in, just like my predecessor Glenda Foster had been before me. That is, I would be if I made it to the afternoon’s impromptu interview.

I was going to have to have a long talk with Glenda. She was in the Russian Novel class, too, and knew I was struggling, yet still scheduled my society interview during lecture time!

Society interviews were always arranged on super-short notice. Part of the test was to see if you could get there. I hadn’t yet figured out what they did if the prospective tap didn’t answer her phone—if she was busy, for example, enduring both the crime and the punishment of Professor Muravcek’s soporific speaking voice.

Laundry all but forgotten, I hurried back into my room. Though the interview would be merely a formality, I fully intended to follow along with society pomp and circumstance and dress up. (Societies are all about the spectacle.) My suit was crammed in the back of my closet behind my ski jacket and the flared velvet getup I’d worn to February’s seventies-themed Boogie Night. I hadn’t worn my suit since January’s spate of internship interviews, during which I’d landed a posh (insert eye roll here) summer job xeroxing form rejections at Horton. It needed a good lint brushing, but otherwise, it was okay. I paired it with a fresh cotton shell, and went spelunking for a pair of panty hose sans runs. On the third dip into my underwear drawer, I found one. When, oh, when will I learn to throw away unusable nylons? (Not today, apparently.) I stuffed the other two pairs back in the drawer and wrestled the third onto my legs. I needed to shave, but the nylons would cover that.

In January, I’d gotten my light brown hair cut into one of those shoulder-length, multilayered bobs I was positive was the height of fashion for the Manhattan literati. (It wasn’t.) The downside of the cut was that, even with three months’ growth, it took twenty minutes with a blow dryer and a big round brush to make it look halfway decent. I didn’t have that kind of time right now, so I was relegated to ponytail-ville.

I slipped into my black pumps and clopped through my suite’s early Gothic—complete with lead-veined windows—common room. We have one of the sweetest setups in the whole residential college—two sizeable singles connected by a wood-lined common room that featured a non-working, but darn pretty, fireplace. Only downside is the slightly pockmarked hardwood floor. Have I mentioned how much I hate heels? The door to the suite opened before I could turn the knob. My suitemate and best friend, Lydia Travinecek, entered, balancing an armload of dusty library books, a travel mug of coffee, and her dry cleaning. Lydia is always more organized than I am. She has time for lunch, homework, and trouser pleats. It’s like she’s a lawyer already.

She looked me up and down. “Quill?”

I shrugged. “Who else?” Quill & Ink wasn’t a secret society in the traditional sense. Heck, they didn’t even have one of those giant stone tombs like the big societies used to hold their meetings—just a one-bedroom apartment above Starbucks. She nodded curtly, and flopped the dry-cleaning bags over the back of our couch. Two days ago, Lydia had hurried out of here in her own carefully pressed suit. “Good luck, not that you’ll need it. Hasn’t every Lit Mag editor gotten into Quill & Ink since, like, the Stone Age?”

Pretty much. I pushed back the tiny thread of annoyance that Lydia hadn’t yet told me what society had been courting her. It was silly; I knew that when Tap Night came around and she was picked by her society (whatever one it was), Lydia would drop the secrecy routine.

She took a paper sack out of her messenger bag and held up a bottle of Finlandia Mango in triumph. “Check it out. I thought we’d go tropical with our Gumdrop Drops tomorrow.” Gumdrop Drops had become a weekly ritual in our suite since Lydia turned twenty-one last August (I didn’t go legal until December). A bottle of vodka, two shot glasses, and a bag of Brach’s Spice Drops to use as chasers were all we needed for a party. I wondered briefly what would happen to the tradition once we were both in our respective societies and had other obligations on Thursday nights (all the secret societies meet on Thursdays and Sundays).

“Awesome! Can’t wait. Gotta run.” I waved good-bye and clopped out of the suite, down the stairs, and into the sunny April afternoon. Connecticut had finally decided to get with the program and realize it was spring.

I just knew Lydia would be tapped. She’d been vying for election into one of the more prestigious societies since the moment she’d stepped on campus as a freshman. She honestly felt that it was the only way to get anywhere at this school. I thought the attitude was a bit out-of-date, myself. This wasn’t the twenties, when you were tapped into a society straight out of graduating from Andover or one of the other elite prep schools, and every student on campus was white, male, and rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

In those days, failure to receive election into one of the big secret societies was tantamount to permanent social ostracizing. Forget the leather-furnished office on Wall Street, forget the vacation home in Newport. Your kids probably wouldn’t even get into Exeter!

But the world didn’t work like that anymore. Now most of the societies had diverse membership rosters that reflected a modern student body composed of kids from every walk of life. There was no doubt in my mind that come Tap Night, even without the benefit of blue blood, Lydia would be elected into one of the best societies on campus—Dragon’s Head, perhaps, or Book & Key. In fact, the only secret society I knew she would not get into was Rose & Grave, the oldest and most notorious society in the country. But that was because all the members—known as “Diggers”—were men.

As for me, I was joining Quill & Ink for the same reason that I did everything else—it would look good on my resume. I was already well acquainted with the other literary types on campus. They were all my nearest and dearest. We didn’t need the formality of a society like Quill & Ink to cement our bond. What we did need was the networking and resume puffing it would provide us. You know how it goes. If there’s an organization to head, an award to win, a connection to pursue–you’ve got to do it. Otherwise everyone would wonder why you didn’t, and your whole carefully constructed C.V. of success would topple like a ninety-eight pound freshman at a kegger. This was it, 750 College Street. And, according to my watch, I had a little over ninety seconds to make it into the room. And yet, when at last I arrived, slightly puffing, at the darkened classroom on the fourth floor, the first words out of the mouth of the person who laser-pointed me to my seat were: “You’re late.”

I looked at my watch again, though I couldn’t see the hands in the dark. “I—”

The shadowed man sitting at the nearest table pointed something at me that glowed with a green 2:01 in digital numbers.

“This is an atomic clock. You were forty-eight seconds late.”

“Are you joking?” I squinted, trying in vain to see his face through the gloom. Since all of our classrooms are equipped with motion-detecting lights, I was surprised that they managed to pull this off. They’d draped the windows with black hangings, and though each of the dozen people seated about the room appeared to have a book light in front of their place, the most I could make out was a jawline here, the curve of a nose there. Wow, they’d gone all out. Must be the writers’ creative juices at work.

“Are we joking, Ms. Haskel?” Shadow Guy #2 said with what I swear was a sneer. I didn’t even need to see it. “Do you believe there is anything about this process that is a joke?”

Not until now. But come on, what was this, Eyes Wide Shut? “No, sir.”

I strained my neck to see if I could recognize Glenda’s features amongst the group, but I couldn’t make her out. Where was she? Oh, let me guess. War and Peace. I was so going to swipe her lecture notes!

“Let me assure you, Ms. Haskel,” Shadow Guy #2 went on, “that we take our election procedure very seriously. Punctuality is of utmost importance to us. So is electing a person who can be trusted to obey the mandates of the society, no matter how minor they might seem.”

Whoa. So forty-eight seconds and I’d screwed the pooch? I sat up in my seat. “I understand that, sir, and can assure you that I will take my position in the society very seriously.” I paused, weighing the advisability of my next words. “I didn’t know I was supposed to invest in an atomic watch. Do I get one of those when I join?”

No answer.

I giggled nervously. “What about a grandfather clock? I heard every member of Rose & Grave gets one at graduation.” Quill, however, didn’t quite have the endowment for such lavish presents. Maybe they could swing a Timex.

Still nothing. Um, was this thing on? “Though I suppose that a grandfather clock would be hard to lug around.” Lame, lame, lame. “And probably not atomic.” Shut up, Amy. Man, I was crashing and burning here.

We sat in silence for a full ten seconds. And then someone three rows back spoke up. “Ms. Haskel, if you could answer a few questions for us.” I saw a shuffling of papers. “I have here your transcript. It states that sophomore year you received a B- in Dust Pages: Ethiopian Immigrant Narrative of the Mid-20th Century West.”

“Yes.”

“Do you have an explanation for that performance?”

Yeah, beware of classes bearing colons. In this case, the prof was a prick who thought that everything in the text that was even remotely cylindrical was some sort of phallic representation, and unless our term papers explored the ongoing problem of feminine penis envy, we’d completely missed the mark.

I think he had bedroom issues.

The B- was my single black mark in my English major, or would be as long as I kicked all 1,472 pages of WAP ass in my Russian Novel final.

“I’m more of a New Critic than a Freudian analyst,” I began, choosing the time-honored liberal arts tradition of obfuscation. If you can’t beat ’em, confuse ’em. “The signifiers of the primary texts in the class”—man, even I didn’t know what I was saying by this point—“lent themselves to readings more in keeping with the works of Said, Levi-Strauss, and . . .” Crap. I ran out of steam. Okay, pick an old standby. “. . . Aristotle’s theories as laid out in Poetics.”

Ha, question that! I was an English major. I could bullshit with the best of them.

The third-row shadow smiled, and I could see that someone had a very talented orthodontist. His choppers were as bright and even as a movie star’s. “Good answer.” Then he cleared his throat.

All the lights blinked on and off. Twice.

Shadow-Who-Smiles shuffled a few more papers. “Do you remember Beverly Campbell?”

“My third-grade teacher?” I’d had to think about that one for a minute. Glenda had not warned me of any of this. No doubt she was sitting pretty right now, taking notes about the bleak Siberian winter in her usual purple gel pen. And here I was, getting grilled by Quill & Ink for heaven knew what reason. Wasn’t I supposed to be a sure thing?

Furthermore, it was official: I didn’t recognize any of these people’s voices. Had they brought in alumni to conduct the interviews? “If we asked Beverly Campbell about you, what would she say?”

“That I was good with phonics.” Enough of this. “Come on, it was third grade.”

“What about Janine Harper?” Fourth grade. “Marilyn Mahan.” Fifth. “James Field, Tracy Cole, Debra Blumenthal.” Shadow-Who-Smiles proceeded to name every homeroom teacher I’d ever had. It was more than a little freaky.

“Can I ask you a question?” I said, interrupting his recitation in tenth grade.

“Go ahead.”

“Congressional confirmation hearings wouldn’t care this much about my early childhood. Why do you?”

Quill was a second-rate society at best, more concerned with getting its members into J-school than taking over the world—the reported purpose of real secret societies. What was up with the Da Vinci Code act?

Shadow Guy #2 spoke up. “What are your ambitions, Ms. Haskel?”

I kinda wanted to write the Great American Novel. But not even Quill & Ink would find that a satisfactory answer. Not goal-oriented enough. Not feasible. There aren’t enough Nobel Prizes in Literature to go around. Plus, I wasn’t sure I had any Great American Ideas. So, once again, with the fallback plan. “To be a media magnate.” There, that should hold them.

“You’re lying.” Shadow-Who-Smiles was no longer showing me his pearly whites.

“What makes you say that?” I folded my hands in my lap. And why did they care? I’d have bet each and every one of these people had a frustrated novelist buried deep inside. Shadow-Who-Smiles (though he wasn’t right now) picked up another piece of paper and began to read aloud. It was the first page of my unfinished novel—the one that no one but Lydia and I knew about. The one that existed only on my laptop’s hard drive, back in my room.

“Hey!” I shouted, and he stopped. “Where did you get that? Did you hack my computer or something?”

Everything got really quiet. I thought I could hear the atomic clock whirring away. Who were these people? “We have everything you’ve ever done, Ms. Haskel,” Shadow Guy #2 said. He lifted a manila envelope from the table in front of him. “This is your FBI file.”

My mouth dropped open. I have an FBI file? Why would I have an FBI file? I’d never done a summer internship at the White House or the Pentagon. My dad is an accountant, not a politician. I didn’t need security clearance. And even if I did, how the heck did these people get their hands on it? There was only one answer. They were playing me. I shook my head, leaned back in my chair, and laughed. “Right, my FBI file. The Federal Bureau of I-Don’t-Think-So. Look, I’m glad I’ve given you guys a good laugh, but since you aren’t the Men in Black, can we please get back to the interview now?” There was a long pause, then all the lights on the tables blinked again. This time, most of them blinked once, except for the one in front of Shadow-Who-Smiles.

“I think,” said Shadow Guy #2, “that the interview is over.”

“No!” said Shadow-Who-Smiles.

“She’s not what we’re looking for.”

“I don’t agree.”

Hold the phone. I sat forward. “Guys, I’m not quite clear what’s going on here. Where’s Glenda?”

Shadow Guy #2 tilted his head until I got a glimpse of pale cheekbone. “Glenda?”

“Yeah, Glenda. Glenda Foster, the old Lit Mag editor? The girl who is sponsoring me for this society? The girl who is too taken with Russian literature to show up this afternoon?” Again with the silence, though this one was punctuated with a few snickers. Finally, Shadow-Who-Smiles (and he was definitely doing it again!) spoke up. “Glenda Foster is not a member of this organization.”

Holy shitzu.

Who were these people?!?

Okay, to be fair, there was still one little corner in my mind that was shouting that Glenda had been lying to me all year, and that she wasn’t a member of Quill & Ink after all. But it was a pretty minuscule corner, the one where all of my most paranoid tendencies live. The rest of my head was busy spinning. I’d been taking this process rather lightly because, hey, it was Quill & Ink. Not a big deal, and I was a sure bet anyway. But they obviously weren’t Quill & Ink. I was out of my depth, for one of the first times in my life. And I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do.

“I think we’re done here,” Shadow Guy #2 said.

“No, we’re not,” insisted Shadow-Who-Smiles.

Shadow Guy #2 turned around and I caught a glimpse of perfectly shaved neck. “She’s not what we want. We have to be serious about this.”

“I can be serious!” I leaned forward and smacked my hand down on Shadow Guy #2’s notes. I saw his mouth drop open. Oops. “Sorry,” I said, sitting back and folding my hands demurely.

“I was a little—confused.”

“Clearly.”

“Can I ask who you people are?”

This time, they all laughed, before Shadow Guy #2 said, “No.”

“So you get a list of my middle-school study-hall proctors and I get squat?”

“That’s why we call it a secret society.” Shadow-Who-Smiles cleared his throat.

“Fair enough.”

Shadow-Who-Smiles flicked his light on and off a few times, and all the members began shuffling the papers on their desks. I wondered what the signal meant.

Okey-doke. I figured I’d humiliated myself enough for one afternoon. I rose from my seat. “Am I free to go?”

“One moment, Ms. Haskel.” Shadow-Who-Smiles put his hand out, and I was surprised that I could see it. Apparently, my eyes were adjusting to the dark. “Tell us. What do you have to offer this organization?”

I bit my tongue to keep from snapping back with, And what organization is that? Okay, so they weren’t Quill & Ink. Someone else was courting me, and I’d royally screwed up any chance I might have had to impress—whoever. The real question was, did I care? After all, this wasn’t my thing. Lydia was the one who wanted to get into a secret society—any prestigious secret society. I just wanted to be in Quill & Ink, so I could keep tabs on which literary agents were hiring assistants and whether or not Cosmopolitan needed interns. And finally, the absurdity of the whole situation hit me. All the juniors who, like me, had spent an hour in a darkened classroom, answering vague questions about their ambitions and accomplishments for a bunch of shadowy strangers—they hadn’t the foggiest clue to whom they were spilling their guts. Lydia, for all her secretive, superior smugness, didn’t know if she was being courted by Dragon’s Head or punk’d by a bunch of rowdy frat boys. And neither did I.

What did I have to offer this mysterious, unidentified organization? Aside from the finger, which I lifted, to little effect in the darkness.

I straightened my skirt, stuck out my chin, and laughed. “You already know what I have to offer. Straight As in the major, except for that little snafu with Ethiopian ImmigrantNarrative; the editorship of the Lit Magazine; participation and leadership in any number of other small campus publications; and thirty pages of a badly written novel. I don’t do drugs, I’ve never been arrested, and from what I hear, I’m not too shabby in bed. Not that any of you people will ever have the opportunity to discover that firsthand.” (Though, to be honest, I’d have no way of knowing, now would I?)

Then I turned on my heel and marched out. And as I exited into the hall, head held high, I thought I caught the flicker of a dozen tiny booklights.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Laughing to tears

    I randomly stumbled across Secret Society Girl at my local library and decided to check it out after reading the back cover. This book's style and wit reminded me very much of Bridget Jone's though the characters are more relatable since I am a twentysomething as opposed to Fielding's 30somethings. Many times I found myself laughing to near tears. If you like ridiculous scenarios that are so far out they can only be believable then this is your sort of book. The main characters personalities are well developed, I feel like I myself am a member and friends with those in R&G. I recommend this book and its sequels. I passed my copies onto my girlfriends and now we are eagerly anticipating the next installment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hobbitsies Reviews: Lots and lots of twists

    Last year I read Diana Peterfreund's Rampant, which, as some of you might know, is about killer unicorns and the girls that, you know, hunt them. And it was freaking awesome. But Secret Society Girl is so different in genre and story that.I guess I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to it.

    But either way, it doesn't matter, because Secret Society Girl rocked. I never saw any of it coming. Each page presented a new question with added WTFery. I didn't know which friends of Amy's I liked or trusted. Hell, I didn't even know which guy I was supposed to root with her to be with.

    Even though Secret Society Girl is not YA, I loved it. I don't recommend it to anyone who's uncomfortable with mentions of sex (not graphic), because let me just say - Amy is not afraid of her sexuality. Which was sort of refreshing in way - I love reading about first loves, but it's nice to read about someone who isn't all that intimidated by guys.

    I loved reading about college life at "Eli University" and secret societies and all that sort of stuff because I LOVE all sorts of secret hidden things, and secret societies definitely fit the bill.

    Have I mentioned Amy's awesomeness yet? She's strong, aware of her flaws, and not afraid to tell people off. I LOVE HER.

    But really - check out Secret Society Girl, if you haven't already. I've only read the first book in the series, but I've been assured by Carla of The Crooked Shelf that it actually gets even better.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Secret society girl

    Amy Haskel is just finishing up her successful junior year at Ivy League Eli University. She's editor of the Literary Magazine, has an awesome internship lined up, and is currently enjoying a nice friends with benefits relationship. Now if only she could finish War and Peace before finals... Amy figures she is a shoo-in for the literary secret society on campus, Quill & Ink, but when she is finally tapped, she finds out it's not the safe literary group she thought, but The Most Prestigious secret society on campus - the Rose & Grave.

    And they only tap men.

    Amy is more than confused and the societies' strict no-talking-about-anything-secret-society ensures that she continues to be in the dark. It's only when Rose & Grave alumns who are decidedly against any female admittance to their 'boys club' does Amy get a broader scope of the R&G's power and control.

    I left this novel torn between feeling like I missed out on something during college by not being at a university with such traditions and being so grateful I wasn't mixed up with all these sorts of shenanigans. But then again, how can a girl resist the tell-all nature of Amy's 'confession' as she faithfully outlines the inner workings of the R&G? Let's just say I didn't. Amy happens to be my kind of girl - she over thinks everything, makes hilarious lists (did I mention how much I like lists?), she's always up for a good conspiracy theory (LOVE). Most of all, Amy always stands up for her friends - especially her fellow Diggirls. She is my idea of a model woman.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    The Truth Behind the Tomb

    All Amy Haskel wanted was to be admited into a small society so she could add that to her resume for when she graduated from Eli University. Things go awray, however when the secret socity called Rose and Grave decides to tap her insyead. The oddest part about her tap? She's not male. For as long as the society has been around it has always been all male...until now. The problem with this new tap, and all the fringe binefits that come with it, is that there are some members who greatly oppose the admission of females. Now, it is up to Amy and her new fellow taps to deal with this issue or say goodbye to their futures.<BR/><BR/>The witty writting of this novel keeps the readers engaged with the story. The clear spoken inner thoughts of the main character allows readers to experience the process of her newly tapped life right with her. This book is an excellent read for when you feel in the mood for a little mystery blended in with light hearted, and also heart touching, fun.

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    ????

    which book is frist it looks realyy good and all of the costermer review say soo

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Meet Amy Maureen Haskel, a junior at prestigious Eli University. As editor-in-chief of the campus literary newspaper, Amy's a shoe-in to be tapped for Quill & Ink, the literary senior society, home to writers and scribblers of any and all degree. After all, it's a part of her master plan: get tapped into Quill & Ink, do her summer internship at Horton, make it through the Russian Novel class, decide what to do with her "friend with benefits," Brandon, and, basically, enjoy a fulfilling life as a literary genius. <BR/><BR/>Except things don't quite work out that way. Amy is tapped to join a society all right, but she learns pretty quickly (all the guys in black robes hidden in shadow give her a clue) that it isn't Quill & Ink who is interested in her. No, she's been tapped by Rose & Grave, the mother of all secret societies on Eli's campus. Except that doesn't make sense either, as Rose & Grave is a society of men only. <BR/><BR/>The fact that Rose & Grave has decided to allow women into their society is just the beginning of Amy's junior year. She's heard so many rumors about the "Diggers" over the years that she doesn't know what is fact and what is fiction. Does Rose & Grave really run the country? Is every presidential candidate a member? Do they control the media? Is Rose & Grave funded with unlimited money from the world's biggest CEO's and business founders? Are you really supposed to leave the room if someone so much as utters the words Rose & Grave, and yet wear a Rose & Grave pin on your person at all times? It's all very confusing for Amy, and it only gets more so after her initiation. <BR/><BR/>Given the ultra-cool (not) name of Bugaboo, Amy is now in a secret society, which is great. Except she can't tell anyone that she's a member of Rose & Grave, never mind what she does during their meetings. There are some members of the Diggers who aren't thrilled to have women in their ranks, and that spells major trouble for not only Amy and the other members of class D177, but possibly for the entire Rose & Grace society. <BR/><BR/>SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is a blast! Fun and witty, with an engaging theme, heartfelt situations, intriguing dialogue, and a cast of characters that you'll be cheering for, it's a story you won't want to put down. Thankfully, there's another book coming in this series, so I have something to look forward to. As it is, though, I can't wait for another look into the lives of not only Bugaboo, but some of my other favorite characters--Angel, Little Demon, and Puck. Not to mention being able to catch up on the lives of the graduating class members such as Poe and Lancelot. You won't go wrong picking up a copy of this clever, imaginative story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Fun, Easy Read

    This book was a fun, easy read. I actually came across it after reading Peterfreund's latest book Rites of Spring 'Break'. I had to read her first book so I could be filled in on how the main character, Amy, got started. I'm 26, but I still appreciated the young drama of the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    Sleep Deprevation

    That's what this book led me to. This book took me in and I had to finish it the same day I started. The book has a good plot line, even if it is slow sometimes. It made me laugh and think. For me, being a college student just finishing finals, it was a good book just to sit, read, and relax. Buy it, you won't regret it at all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2007

    What to say...

    I never attended an Ivy League school, but even I could see through the veiled references to Yale. That being said, one has to wonder if the author sees herself as the main character Amy (who by the way, is a hypocrite). The premise was interesting, but she would have done better creating more intrigue and concentrating less on the juvenile witt and drama.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2007

    Unoriginal.

    The setting for the story is a very thinly-veiled Yale 'Peterfreund's alma mater'. In fact, she keeps so much of the aspects of Yale that I found the book lacking in creativity and feeling unoriginal. All aspects of a Yale experience are kept, including layout of the dormitories, the club exclusively for Yalie's at which Amy drinks from the silver cups 'called Tory's in the book, but in real life, Mory's', the 12 residential colleges at Yale, the thinly- veiled Skull & Bones, Scoll & Key, Wolf's Head, and other secret societies at Yale, the Yale Club in Manhattan, the college deans and masters, Old Campus, the 'tomb's' for the societies, and even the actual name where Skull & Bones is located 'High Street' is exactly where Rose & Graves is. Quite uncreative if you ask me. Not to mention, the story isn't the most original. The antics of Amy are cliche 'one-night stands, complicated sexual relationships, mountains of work' all part of the college experience. 'And I don't think Peterfreund was doing a favor by writing this novel about Yale. Amy's insecurity and lack of judgement seem to portray Yale in a negative light. So does the elitism of some of the characters. My sister, a Yale alum, even called this book trash'. Even the plot of R&G being angered by the females taps-- not new. A huge controversy ensued when Skull & Bones decided to tap women in 1991 and it was actually resolved by mail-in votes from the S&B alums. If you were looking for some insight on the real Skull & Bones in this book, unlikely that you found any. Peterfreund is simply telling a fun story 'and possibly looking to make a quick buck by extoling some of her experiences at Yale'. Would I recommend it? Only if you're looking for a quick fun escape from reality.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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