- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Dell Publishing Company; Reprint edition (May 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440243890
- ISBN-13: 978-0440243892
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,383,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel Paperback – 1 May 2007
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" 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."
"Peterfreund's descriptions of the ambitious Amy Haskel's collegial life are both vivid and amusing."--The New York Observer
"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.
About 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Given the ultra-cool (not) name of Bugaboo, Amy is now in a secret society, which is great.Read more ›
This is fairly standard YA fare, which despite being set in Yale (Sorry, Eli - although author Diana Peterfreund freely admits that the obvious comparison is intended) isn't all that different from many high-school or college based books. What makes it a real pleasure to read, though, is snarky narration by Amy, who is frankly awesome, and an interesting cast of fellow taps, with a lot more character development and revelations in the second half of the book than I was prepared for by the first part of it. By the end, I was definitely getting hooked on the story and am really looking forward to the follow-up, Under The Rose, which I'm planning on reading soon. Bonus points for an awesome speech given at a climatic moment which was two and a half pages of serious girl power, and an interesting ending which means that while it would have worked well as a stand alone, there are a couple of plot strands which will make that sequel (and the other two books in the series) very interesting.
High recommendation to fans of Cecily Von Ziegesar, Anna Goodberson and Curtis Sittenfield.
Amy is currently attending Eli University and she thinks she is going to be tapped to the totally non secret literary society. However it turns out the uber selective and secret boys only society called Rose & Grave have decided this year to accept girls and Amy's name is on the list. There is everything I was looking for in this book, from crazy initiations to a slightly slutty leading lady!
I related to Amy from the first page. She was a completely real character who makes mistakes in her relationships with her friends and the men in her life. The supporting characters are also well rounded and written each with there own personal troubles. I found keeping some of the society characters straight often confusing as they go by 2 names, however it did not diminish my enjoyment.
I am ready to pick up the next book in the series and find out what Amy's challenge will be this time.
This book is fun and fresh. It's a cool window into what life is like at an US university and Amy is a likeable heroine - she's smart, funny and doesn't let anyone push her around. I actually liked all the girls of Rose & Grave; each had her own distinct personality and I loved the way they banded together in the end - it's nice to see female solidarity and support. The men aren't lacking, either and I had as hard a time choosing which one I liked best as Amy did! (Going with George at the moment) It's the character moments that will keep me reading the series; I care about them all and what to see what happens to them.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Amy, though, has not been tapped by the society that she expected; instead, she's been invited to join Rose and Grave, the oldest and most prestigious of the societies. Why she was picked, and how the organization's alums feel about the first coeducational class, make up the bulk of this novel.
Some disclaimers upfront: Though I was not in a secret society, I did graduate from one of the ancient eight. I know a lot of the characters that populate this novel. Secret Society Girl gets all of the details of college life in the Ivy League right. This is a place where everyone is ambitious, everyone is smart. and everyone is accomplished. When Amy describes her previous relationships with guys, she lists them by academic term. The only guaranteed jobs after graduation are in I-banking and consulting, and everyone else has to scramble if they aren't going to law school or medical school. The crazy traditions. The way you know every person on campus, and then meet someone new right before graduation.
If you're looking to learn about an aspect of the Ivy League experience, this novel is an excellent place to start. There are four books total in this series and I, for one, am eager to read more about the Diggers.
On the other hand, this book had its share of flaws. The most glaring one - which many reviewers here have already pointed out - is that I couldn't figure out why Amy wanted to be part of the Rose & Grave. The leader is a blowhard, the initation ceremony is both dangerous and offensive, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of benefits to being a part of it. Amy meets new people, fellow "Diggers," but it's hard to tell if they like her for her or because she was invited to join the same "secret" society they were. I'm sure there are plenty of other extra-cirricular activities she could join that don't disrupt her life, doesn't lead to threats to her family, and contribute more to her major (English). And also, I didn't like how the love interest, Brandon, acted later on. He seemed to expect Amy to want to be exclusive with him, but she isn't sure she wants the same; I feel he pressures her too much. Ideal boyfriend material, I'm sure.
Just be aware that this isn't a mystery, but rather a standard chick lit novel that takes a unique look at a mysterious subject. (Oh, and I guess your enjoyment of the book will be partly affected by how much you like lists.)