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Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel Paperback – 1 May 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Review

" 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

"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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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By TeensReadToo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Amy Haskel, editor-in-chief of the campus lit magazine at Eli university, is confidently expecting to be 'tapped' into Quill & Ink, the literary society there. She certainly doesn't think she'll find herself in Rose & Grave, the notorious - and hugely powerful - secret society. She's not rich, she's not famous, and she's definitely not male, which would previously have been the sticking point for R & G. But this year, the society members have decided to bring five women into the fold, which hasn't gone down too well with certain alumni... leaving Amy and her friends to fight against men far more powerful than they are, while she juggles a fellow tap, a friend-with-benefits, and her society big brother with a secret of his own. Oh, and as if that's not enough, the need for secrecy is messing up her friendship with suitemate Lydia.

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.
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Format: Paperback
From the moment I read the blurb about this book I knew I had to read it. As far as I knew there were no secret societies at my university. I'm not entirely sure there were any non secret societies (Scottish universities are mostly about drinking!). Bearing all this in mind I have a fascination with all things Ivy League and Secret, I especially love the film The Skulls. So after starting this book it did not take me long to zip through it and get online to order the rest!

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amy Haskel is a student at Eli University (a fictional Yale) and is stunned when she is chosen to be a part of its most powerful and exclusive secret society, Rose & Grave. She thought Rose & Grave only chose the rich, the well-connected and the male. Soon Amy is swept into a world of wild rituals, hot men, possible friends and scary society patriarchs.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WhatMissKelleyIsReading: bookitty.typepad.com 5 April 2010
By Lea Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Secret Society Girl is the first book in Diana Peterfreund's series of the same name. Amy Haskel is your typical Ivy League junior: behind in her reading, in a hurry, out of clean underwear. The last thing she needs is to have her secret society interview occur at the same time as her Russian novel class. After all, she's the editor of the campus literary magazine, so she she's a shoe-in for the literary society. Right?

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so 6 Oct. 2009
By anna kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a little conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I liked the main character - I found her to be slightly cynical, which was nice to see, and had realistic doubts and anxieties about herself (at times, I thought she was being too harsh on herself). For the most part, the other characters - at least the ones we get to know well - are well-developed and more or less believable. I also enjoyed the "girl power" message that this book had. And there is one speech Amy has toward the end that is really powerful and poignant.

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.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!!!!! 8 Oct. 2010
By Alissa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book purely by accident when I was looking for something by the same author, and I'm SO very thankful I did! I was a bit skeptical at first and worried this was going to turn out like other books akin to Gossip Girl and the like but boy was I wrong! The story is very engaging and the main character Amy is very likable and real. I found the storyline unique and very realistic, and the writing very engaging. I flew through this and quickly picked up the other three books in the series. This book and the rest in the series is defiintely worth reading!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and witty 18 July 2012
By stargazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Secret Society Girl walks the delicate line between intelligent literature and popular fiction. I initially picked it up for some light summer reading, but found it far more intellectually satisfying than most chick lit. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Societies! 26 Feb. 2013
By Stephanie O'Neil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! I started it before bed, planning on reading only a few chapters, but I couldn't stop reading. It's everything you want an elite secret society novel to be, including crazy initiations, secrets, and old privileged men (who need their power challenged). There is also tons of friend and family drama, as well as a smattering of romance. I can't wait to read the next one!
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