Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Reads: Secret Society Girl

Diana Peterfreund strikes again.  You'll remember my rave review of her Killer Unicorn book (right my faithful readers?).  Well I was so impressed by her writing that I had to read another of her books, even though this one was not my usual cup of tea.  I had a good read, and it was very engaging, so I'm glad I picked it up.  Never again will I turn my nose up at the "super popular o-so cool girl" books.  Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel.

"Elite Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to be tapped into Rose & Grave, the country’s most powerful—and notorious—secret society. She isn’t rich, politically connected, or…well, male.

So when Amy receives the distinctive black-lined invitation with the Rose & Grave seal, she’s blown away. Could they really mean her?

Whisked off into an initiation rite that’s a blend of Harry Potter and Alfred Hitchcock, Amy awakens the next day to a new reality and a whole new set of “friends”—from the gorgeous son of a conservative governor to an Afrocentric lesbian activist whose society name is Thorndike. And that’s when Amy starts to discover the truth about getting what you wish for. Because Rose & Grave is quickly taking her away from her familiar world of classes and keggers, fueling a feud, and undermining a very promising friendship with benefits. And that’s before Amy finds out that her first duty as a member of Rose & Grave is to take on a conspiracy of money and power that could, quite possibly, ruin her whole life."

First Sentence: Not actually the first sentence, each chapter is preceded with a confession, sometimes snarky, sometimes revealing, always a good teaser.  "I hereby confess: I am a member of one of the most infamous secret societies in the world."  That gets my attention.  Yours?

Beefs: You probably won't find any problems.  Peterfreund writes in her usual, seamless style, leaving nothing wanting except more books.  Personally, I would just rather read about killer unicorns than secret societies, however, this book was far from a waste of time.

Brownie Points: Voice.  I loved the main character.  Amy is sexy, real, funny, ambitious, smart, down to earth, in all the right ways.  Fresh out of college and going into publishing, I actually have quite a bit in common with her (don't ask me about my secret society affiliations--I'll have to kill you).

Recommendation:  Even if this isn't your usual cup of tea, read it anyways.  Actually, read all of Peterfreund's stuff.  I plan to.

Would I represent it?  No.  If this came to me and the author had had no history of publishing before, I would have turned it down, probably from the query alone.  Then I would have kicked myself when it came out, of course.  But that's how my preferences roll.  If a client of mine had a successful run the first time around, I wouldn't have discouraged her from writing a book like this, and probably would have greatly enjoyed being privy to the process.

Happy reading!

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