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Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund

Amy Haskel is a junior at Eli University (a fictional member of the Ivy League), and expecting to be tapped for the Quill & Ink -- a not-so-secret literary society -- when she receives a call, simply telling her to go to a certain room at a certain time. Still assuming she's going to her interview for Quill & Ink, she hurries over there, but that's when things start to get fishy.

Her interview panel -- which seems to be all male - also seems to know absolutely everything about her life. They know all of her former teachers, even back to elementary school.. they want to know why she got a B- in her African Literature class... and she starts to wonder if perhaps this isn't Quill & Ink... but Rose & Graves doesn't tap women, does it?

Amy's descriptions of her college and her friends are fun and witty, and she often makes asides to the reader -- like the following comment:

"Strange. With most men, admission of unrequited love is a little wishy-washy. Forget Cyrano de Bergerac, forget Romeo Montague, Act One, Scene One. Girls only go mushy for those men in fiction. In real life, we like a little hard-to-get. Show me a pining man and I'll show you a pussy"(217).

And it is Amy's voice that really engages the reader.

Secret Society Girl may not technically be a YA novel, but it is everything good YA chick-lit should be. The only reason for the "Adult" label, as far as I can see, is the fact that the protagonist is in her early twenties, rather than her teens.* The novel is no more racy than most teen novels, despite its adult label: Amy does talk about her sexual history (but she's 21, it's not unusual that she would have one), but the closest thing to a "sex scene" ends with the closing of the bedroom door. I'll definitely be looking for the sequel (Under the Rose) when it comes out in June!

*This may be the first time I've ever read an adult novel where the protag was younger than I am -- oh no, I must be getting old!!


Diana Peterfreund said...

Thanks so much for reading!

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