Under the Rose: An Ivy League Novel [NOOK Book]

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.
 
Now a senior at Eli University, Amy is looking her ...
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Under the Rose: 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.
 
Now a senior at Eli University, Amy is looking her future squarely in the eye—until someone starts selling society secrets. When a female member mysteriously disappears and a series of bizarre messages suggests conspiracy within the ranks, no member of Rose & Grave is safe . . . or above suspicion.
 
On Amy’s side, the other women in Rose & Grave remain loyal. Against her? A group of Rose & Grave’s überpowerful patriarchs who want their old boys’ club back. As new developments in her love life threaten to explode, and the search for the missing girl takes a disturbing turn, Amy will need to use every society maneuver she’s ever learned in order to stay one step ahead. Even if it means turning to old adversaries for help—or looking for her real enemies closer than she’d thought.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Deep within the Rose and Grave Secret Society at Eli University, the secrets even members aren't privy to make Peterfreund's second novel impossible to put down. Picking up where last year's Secret Society Girlleft off, the novel follows the misadventures of Amy Haskel, who, having endured the initiation only to unravel a misogynistic plot set on destroying the first class of "Diggers" to include women, is looking forward to putting her troubles behind her. But things begin to sour when all the "Diggirls" receive a mysterious letter warning them of the society's impending implosion. To make matters worse, Amy's ex-boyfriend has a hot new girlfriend; her roommate starts dating a society member with commitment problems; another society member is dying to get under Amy's ceremonial robe; and Amy's senior thesis looms. When the Diggers realize they have a mole, Amy is intent on finding the culprit. Peterfreund offers an intimate view of the modus operandi of a college society, and even when the story's revelations feel anticlimactic, readers will be absorbed by the juicy romance plots. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
“Impossible to put down.... Peterfreund offers an intimate view of the modus operandi of a college society.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440337058
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Series: Ivy League Series
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 303,767
  • File size: 469 KB

Meet the Author

Diana Peterfreund is the author of Secret Society Girl, Under the Rose, Rites of Spring (Break), and Tap & Gown, among other novels. She graduated from Yale University in 2001 with degrees in geology and literature. A former food critic, she now lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and writes full-time.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

I hereby confess: We aren’t like other college students.

1. Stragglers

It was shopping period at Eli University, and lest you think this is one of those books about fashion, let me enlighten you. The students at Eli were not shopping for Prada, but for Proust; they weren’t hunting for good bargains, but rather, for gut classes; and they would happily surrender Fendi at forty percent off to secure a Fractals section that wasn’t all the way up on Science Hill.

As a senior, I found this shopping period especially poignant. It was my penultimate chance to discover the hidden gem seminar, the one I’d look back on in the cold, post-Eli future as being one of those bright college days the song* speaks of. My last chance, in many cases, to take the famous lectures given by the college’s most notorious luminaries.

“What? You didn’t take Herbert Branch’s Shakespeare class?” future employers will say with incredulity. “Why, Amy Haskel, what were you doing there at Eli?”

And I will not be able to tell them, because I swore an oath never to reveal the truth: that while other Literature majors were shopping the Branch class, I was crouching in the shadows on a cold stone floor, garbed in a long black hooded robe and a skull-shaped mask, rehearsing an esoteric initiation ritual that required me to lie in wait for an innocent classmate to wander by so I could leap out, pelt his face with phosphorescent dust, and yell “Boo.”

As if I’d admit to something like that anyway.

“Hey, Lil’ Demon!” I called down the stairs. “I sort of wanted to shop a seminar this afternoon, so can we non-speaking parts adjourn for the day?”

Keyser Soze, a.k.a. Joshua Silver, popped up from behind a tower of human remains. “The Branch class? I wanted to take that, too.” Figures. Branch was a brand-name professor at Eli, and it would suit Josh’s political aspirations to add the scholar’s reputation to his C.V.

Lil’ Demon, currently levitating over a pool of blood, raised one perfectly plucked eyebrow and blew a strand of chestnut brown hair (she’d had it dyed over the summer) out of her eyes. “I should have gone union,” she said with a sniff. “You people just don’t understand show business.”

(By the way, that thing in Us Weekly about Lil’ Demon over the Fourth of July weekend is categorically untrue. Odile Dumas wasn’t “servicing” any ex–boy-band members in Tijuana; she was with me and the other Diggers at a patriarch’s pool party on Fire Island. And, say what you will about the starlet, she has better taste than to get down with a bunch of scrawny tenors. If that were her style, we had more than enough singing groups right here on campus.)

Thorndike, poised below her and wielding a wicked-looking pitchfork, tapped Lil’ Demon on her Pilates-honed and designer jeans–encrusted behind. “Can’t let the Teamsters in the tomb,” she reminded her. Demetria “Thorndike” Robinson was our resident power-to-the-people expert, so she’d know. “But I’m with them anyway,” she continued. “There’s this Racial Strata of the 21st Century symposium I wanted to hit at three.”

A chorus of voices erupted from the other costumed participants about classes they were missing. Bond, our club’s British contingent, wanted to ensure his seniors-first spot in a college poetry seminar, Frodo needed to go to a board meeting of the Eli Film Society, Big Demon had scheduled some physical therapy at the gym, Kismet was tutoring Swahili, and Graverobber, who I don’t think I’d ever witnessed in an Eli classroom, needed to see a man about a horse. Which he owned.

Lil’ Demon sighed, unhooked herself from her safety harness, and dropped to the floor. “Fine, but don’t blame me if the new initiates think they’re getting shafted on their ceremony.”

“With these special effects, I doubt it,” I replied. Lil’ Demon had somehow managed to cajole some FX guy at her studio into lending us a bunch of old monster-movie stuff for the initiation we were holding tomorrow for the Rose & Grave taps who had been abroad during our junior year. No offense to previous clubs—society jargon for each year’s class—and their sublime efforts at scaring the pants off the neophytes, but there was something about stuffing the taps into the same coffin that had once housed Bela Lugosi that added a certain air of authenticity to the proceedings. It would be one hell of a night, rehearsal or not.

I shoved the mask off my face and breathed in cool air. Acting was so not my thing. Some might say I lacked the basic requirement: the ability to conceal my true emotions at any given time. Others would argue I didn’t have the necessary charisma.

Someone tugged at my hood. “Hey, ’boo.”

Speaking of charisma . . . I turned to see Puck grinning at me from beneath his hood. Of course Lil’ Demon wouldn’t hide that face under a disgusting mask. Who’d want to cover up a masterpiece like George Harrison Prescott? “Are you going to that thing at the Master’s house later?”

If you’re going, I thought. “There’s supposed to be free cookies,” I said. “And booze.” Somehow, we’d moved away from the railing, back into one of the corners. We have a funny habit of doing that. Puck leaned against one of the skull sconces gracing the wall and his robe fell open, revealing a very faded, much washed T-shirt, and a whole lot of check-out-how-much-lifting-I’ve-done-this-summer shoulders. Ah, George. I like his shoulders. I like the way they connect his arms to his chest. I like the arms and the chest they connect. I like his collarbones. I like the way he kissed me in the bar last spring. . . .

“Bugaboo!” Soze shouted from the landing. “Are we going to the Branch class or what?” Bugaboo. That’s me. “Yes!” I called back, but I didn’t take my eyes off Puck. “Why wouldn’t you go?” I asked him.

“They do this thing . . . a presentation on the history of Prescott College.” He rolled his eyes. I like his eyes. They’d looked like copper pennies when he asked me to go to bed with him. “I think I’ve got it down pat by now.”

They hadn’t even blinked when I told him no.

“Because it’s starting in about three minutes!” Soze yelled.

Crap. “Coming!” I cried back down the stairs. I turned back to Puck, forcing myself to remember why I’d told him no. “Yeah, well, I’ve got it down pat after three years of living there, and I’m not even a Prescott.”

I’d said no because he wasn’t just George Harrison Prescott. He was also a “Puck”—society nomenclature for the knight in every club who had slept with the most people.

And right then he was my friend, and what’s more, my society brother. “Look, come early, grab a few beers, then slink out before they get into the lecture.”

He quirked a brow. “Slink out with me?”

Soze stuck his head into the shadows. “Now or never, Bugaboo.”

Tell me about it.

George decided to accompany us to the Shakespeare seminar. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. So off we went, three little Diggers, into the bright sunny world of Eli University that lay beyond our gloomy tomb. George checked to see if the coast was clear, and we sneaked out the side door and proceeded to affect the easy stroll of three students who’d just emerged from the nearby Art and Architecture building.

You see, that’s the real trick of being in Rose & Grave: getting in and out in the light of day without shouting to the world that you’re a member. It’s worth it, though. For the price of a little secrecy and a few bizarre rituals, we’re given a unique connection to fourteen other people we might never have known—or liked, if we did know them. (I plead guilty to one such early prejudice, having held an entirely untenable distaste for one of my fellow members before I actually got to know her. Persephone bless Rose & Grave.)

We cut across High Street and through the gate onto Old Campus, otherwise known as freshman central. The powers that be at Eli think it promotes class bonding if the freshmen aren’t isolated in their assigned residential colleges right off the bat, so they stick them all together in the dorms on our largest and most picturesque quad. Five-sixths of the frosh make their home there. (Two colleges keep their freshmen to themselves, due to space constraints, and trust me, you can tell who those freaks are just by looking at them. A common refrain here is “I don’t know that person. Must be in Strathmore or Christopher Bright Colleges.”)

I’ve been told by my Digger big brother, Malcolm Cabot (a.k.a. Lancelot), that the beginning of term is the most dangerous time for Diggers in terms of secrecy. The Rose & Grave tomb is right across the street from Old Campus, and there are a thousand freshmen who have heard all about secret societies and are dying to stake them out. Today, however, Old Campus was dangerous for another reason: the student activities gauntlet.

“Brace yourself,” Josh said, as we were bombarded with a sheaf of brightly colored brochures. Russian Chorus, Club Crew, The Party of the Right, the Campus Crusade for Christ, the Women’s Center, and the Solar Car team Ad Lucem ( “toward the light” in Latin, because we’re pretentious like that). Every organization on campus was out in full force, promoting their group and trying to make themselves look as sexy as possible for the freshmeat who hadn’t yet filled up their schedule.

“Join the Society for Creative Anachronism!” said a kid in an oversized suit of armor, brandishing a papier-mâché sword in George’s face.

“Too late,” George replied. “I live it.”

Josh rolled his eyes and steered our friend away before he started discussing how creatively anachronistic Rose & Grave could get. (George is our most reluctant Digger, and coming from me, that says a lot.)


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    New Year, New Problems

    Coming back to Eli University after an awesome intern over the summer, all Amy Haskel, AKA Bugaboo, wants is to have a quiet year after the debacle the patriarchs gave the Rose and Grave socitey for initiating females. At first, all looks good...until a mysterious e-mail just scratches the surface at the trouble to come. Suddenly, Amy and her "brothers" find themselves with a traitor in their midst. The crimes against the society threaten to break this group, but will Amy be able to put her brains to good use to help the crew or will she have to watch the secret society she holds dearly drown under a number of threats?

    Peterfreund has been able to keep the magic of the first novel alive in this thrilling sequel. "Under the Rose" is a powerful novel about the life of one secret society member. Said member, Amy, is a witty character whose troubles both with the society and in her personal life bring out her inner strength. She may not always have the answer or be the smartest, but her conspiracy theorys, previous learned knowledge, and determination make her a loving character.

    The writing of the novel is beautifully written and keeps true to the setting. There is a richness found in the dialogue which will make a reader believe that these people may actually exist out there in the world. To bring this all together the plot is captivating and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

    Peterfreund has written a book that is impossible to put down and will want you reading the next novel in a heartbeat.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    more society secrets

    Senior year isn't going quite as Amy Haskel would have liked. Sure, she's at prestigious Ivy League Eli University and she's also a member of that oh-so exclusive secret society the Rose & Grave, but Amy is quickly finding out balancing classes, a senior thesis, and society business is not all it's cracked up to be. Once again, the R&G seems to be falling apart as the current members receive vague warnings threatening that the society is rotting out from the inside out. What's more, a traitor, who is slowly spilling society secrets, is on the loose and has everyone up in arms and once again convinced that admitting girls to the R&G was the worst idea EVER. Amy doesn't know which of her brothers has leaked the information but she isn't about to trust any of them on her quest for the truth - hoping that it doesn't destroy the Rose & Grave along the way. Just once, Amy would like to enjoy being a part of her society without all the worry and fear.

    The second installment of Peterfreund's tell-all novels plunges us right back into the world of Amy's not-so-ordinary college experience. Standing out in this series is Amy with her blinding intelligence and loyalty, she is instantly likable and an unforgettable narrator. She is neurotic and doesn't always understand her worth, but she ALWAYS gets the job done. What's not to love? At times, I felt the drama and society debates dragged on a bit and rehashed the same topic over and over but there was always some witty dialogue or snarky remark that would bring a smile back to my face. A fun, summer read that hopefully continues to be just as enjoyable.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2008

    Awsome.

    This book was awsome I loved it I decided to make my father buy it for me Diana you rox.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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