Saturday, July 07, 2007

Review: Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

Amy Haskel, a junior at fictional Ivy League school Eli University, thinks she’s sure to be tapped for Quill & Ink, a not-exactly-secret literary society. She can’t imagine that any more prestigious society would be after her. Especially Rose & Grave, the oldest and most notorious secret society in the country. After all, Rose & Grave doesn’t tap women. And even if they did, it wouldn’t be women like Amy. Right?

Apparently, wrong. That year is the first that Rose & Grave taps women. Including Amy. But where does she fit in? She’s not a legacy, or a leader, or a genius. She’s just...Amy Maureen Haskel, from Shaker Heights, Ohio. Editor of the school’s lit magazine. Good student. But nothing special.

Taking her the advice of her friend (with benefits) Brandon to not overthink something for once, she says yes. And before she knows it, she’s part of the most powerful secret society around. With the society name Bugaboo. But that’s just the start of it.

I wish I’d picked up SECRET SOCIETY GIRL sooner! Once I did, I was hooked. The world Diana Peterfreund creates in this novel is totally different from mine, and maybe a little far-fetched, but still completely real once you start reading. Her characters all step right off the page—even the most minor background characters are three-dimensional. Peterfreund really breathes life into her protagonist, though! Amy’s voice is witty and funny and perfectly suited to the character that the (rather brilliant) author creates.

I’ve been gushing about the characters so much this sounds like a character-driven book with no plot, but that would be the wrong impression. SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is nothing if not a suspenseful page-turner! There’s not a dull moment in this book. I couldn’t put it down! This smart, wickedly funny novel is a new favorite of mine.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, UNDER THE ROSE. Diana Peterfreund’s promising debut novel can only be the tip of the iceberg where this incredibly talented writer is concerned.

Five Stars

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