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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

Posted by Irish in Review17 Comments

Title: Secret Society Girl
Publisher: Dell

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 01 May 2007
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0440243890
Format: Paperback
Pages: 293

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Line: You’ve heard the legends, I’m sure.
Ivy League/Secret Society Series Order 
Book 1 – Secret Society Girl
Book 1.5 – Poe in D.C. (click here to read)
Book 2 – Under the Rose
Book 2.1 – Banned From the Tomb (click here to read)
Book 2.2 – My Phi Beta Kappa Valentine (click here to read)
Book 2.3 – Poe at the Gates (click here to read)
Book 3 – Rites of Spring (Break)
Book 3.1 – A New Confession (click here to read)
Book 3.2 – Powerless (click here to read)
Book 4 – Tap & Gown

Dear reader,

If you don’t have a book bully than you need to get one because they are the bestest thing that a book lover can have. The latest recommendation from my book bully, TS, is Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund and as with 99% of the books she’s made me read this is one of my favorites. Secret Society Girl is an older read and very different from most young adult books out there as the cast of characters are all in their Junior and Senior years of college. There is a serious lack of college age YA books out there and after reading Secret Society Girl I really think that more authors should explore this setting.
When I first started to read this book I was a bit unsure about it but I had faith in my book bully and I am so glad that I stuck with it wasn’t long before I was so absorbed in this book that I stayed up late into the night in order to finish it.  I loved this world that Peterfreund created with her Eli University which is loosely based on Yale University. As I read this book I often felt like I was right there on campus walking in Amy’s shoes and looking through her eyes. There were moments throughout this story where I laughed and others where my heart got that horribly wonderful achy feeling. I didn’t always agree with Amy’s choices but I could always appreciate why she made the ones she did. 
This story was well written and nicely plotted out. All the events happened in steady and believable pace and all the main story ARC items were wrapped up by the end of this book so that it could stand on its own. But I am so very glad that it is part of a series because I hated to leave this world once I turned the final page. I loved all of the characters and I really hope to see Poe and Malcolm again even though they both graduated at the end of this book. I also enjoyed the interactions between Amy and her roommate Lydia and her other Rose & Grave initiates and look forward to seeing what happens to them all during Senior year. There there is Brandon who I just adored and wanted to put in my pocket and keep with me. He was just so sweet and genuine and I really really hope that he gets more page time as this series continues!
If you haven’t read this book before then I strongly suggest that you run out and get yourself a copy. In terms of TV, this book reminded me a bit of the show Gilmore Girls when Rory went off to college. There was lots of wit and snark and well written characters that felt like old friends. Secret Society Girl was a really engaging read and I am sorry that I have overlooked it all these years that it has been out. This one is perfect for your summer reading and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Thanks again dear book bully for giving me another wonderful read!
Mini Review: Poe in D.C.
On Peterfreund’s website she put up a series of short stories…vignettes?…little nibblets…to lead up to the release of the last book in the series and I plan to read them all after each book. The first one takes place during the summer of Amy’s Junior and Senior years at Eli and is told from Poe’s POV. Poe is one of the characters that we meet in Secret Society Girl and I loved seeing some things from his perspective! His voice is so different from Amy’s and I really wish that this little tidbit had been longer and I wouldn’t have complained at all if he had been given a whole book as it was really interesting to learn a bit of his back story.

17 Responses to “Review: Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund”

    • Irish

      As Sarah mentioned below there is a series out there called THE IVY by Lauren Kunze that is also set in college. I haven’t read it though so not sure how it is. But this one, this one I loved. You should read it. =)

  1. Sarah

    Sounds really good! Reminds me of a better written and perhaps a bit more engaging Secret series (Lauren Kunze), also set in college.

    • Irish

      I haven’t read the Kunze books yet but I think that I have the first one on a shelf somewhere. Maybe I’ll dig it out once I am done with this series.

  2. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    YES, I totally adore this series!! I feel like the books kept getting better, too. I want to squeal about certain characters, but I will refrain from spoiling you. Anyway, I totally agree that more new adult books should be released… I don’t know why publishers don’t get on board with the trend. So many of the really popular indie/self-published releases these days are post-high school books.

    • Irish

      They get better?!?! That is super wonderful to hear!

      Do you have any recommendation of good self-pub books with a college setting?

  3. jpetroroy

    I love this series. But technically, I know Diana has said that they’re considered adult and that she didn’t write for a YA audience.

    • Irish

      I’ve read a lot of adult and YA over the years and this one definitely reads more as YA. Its also now found almost exclusively in the YA section of bookstores. So while it may not have been written as YA it has become YA…at least that’s how I see it.

    • Diana Peterfreund

      I am very interested to hear where you have found the books in the YA sections of ANY bookstore. I know they were occasionally cross shelved at my local Borders and I do wish more bookstores would cross shelve it, but I have never seen it anywhere (and believe me, I look!)

    • Irish

      My library system shelves them in the YA section…all the ones I just checked out have the YA sticker on them. And when I’ve seen them in stores here in MA and even in NM I’ve seen them in the YA section. I don’t know if they are cross shelved in the adult section as I don’t browse there much anymore.

  4. Sarah Reads Too Much

    This sounds great! I really like the cross-over YA to adult books out there… though many of them are actually SET at that crucial college-age time period somehow. I need to talk to you more about you becoming my book bully. I think you already are in an unofficial capacity (hello – Myra McEntire in general, Jandy Nelson… you know what I’m talking about…

    • Irish

      I am totally happy to bully you into reading good books. I feel that everyone needs a good book bully in their life. I am so happy to have found mine. I would have missed out on so many good reads if it wasn’t for her. =)

  5. Liyana

    I read it a few months ago and LOVED it. The whole secret society aspect was creepy, awesome and outlandish. Great review!

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