Ivy League Series

Author: Diana Peterfreund
Pages: 320
Pub: 2007; Dell
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary; Realistic

The Short of It

Secret societies and misogyny at arms. 

The Long of It

Lydia and Amy are long time best friends and roomies at the prestigious Eli University (think Yale, ‘cept fictional).  It’s the end of their junior year and both are in the process of being “tapped”, the process when a society chooses you.  Surprisingly, the most prestigious and historically MALE society, Rose & Grave, taps Amy.  After offending some of the older members, Amy, along with a few other girls, move through initiation and become full-fledged members.  But, the fight isn’t over, as they soon realize that there is a strong division between society members regarding whether or not women should even included.

The Thoughts about It

Love me some secret society stories.  Uh, hello, I can’t be the only one who saw Joshua Jackson in The Skulls.  This book is totally a pleasant summer read.  It’s got the love interest, although not over the top to call it a romantic drama; it’s got the hype of college life (uh, hello, did you not hear me when I said SECRET SOCIETIES?); and, some serious friendships developing.  Plus, I totally dig the drama of the old folk wanting to keep tradition and keep women out.  There’s all this “I am woman, hear me roar” hype that fit perfectly. 

Amy is an interesting character as well.  I love that she has faults and let’s her mouth run amok and often has no clue what she really wants.  Her indecisiveness reminded me of myself when I was twenty-one.  None of the other characters really stood out to me, but that’s okay.  This isn’t some nail-biting-over-the-top-historic-summer-read.  It was a great book to bring to the beach and enter.  AND it got me curious enough to pick up the second book on PBS.

Author: Diana Peterfreund
Pages: 352
Pub: 2007; Dell
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary; Realistic

The Short of it

Secret society secrets are getting leaked.

The Long of it

The second in a four-part series (a quartology?), Amy and the whole group of Rose & Grave members are back again.  There’s some stress between Lydia and Amy this go-around and someone on the inside is compromising the brotherhood.  There’s still a little love and flirting going on, but once again it’s not on the forefront. 

The Thoughts about it

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with Under the Rose for the first two-hundred pages. Give or take.  It was still a quick read; read in one night. And it was still entertaining, just a wee bit repetitive.  On a side note, I thought it was sorta funny because one of the members even felt the drama in the Rose & Grave society was repetitive (paraphrased: “why can’t we just hang out and BE the society instead of always talking ABOUT the society and it’s politics). I am so with you man.  Feelin’ ya, for sure! 

Also, ‘cuz everyone has secret society names, it became a little confusing when people were introduced or talking in society compared to OUT of society.  I had to continue to flip to the front page which listed everyone’s society name.  Details, man.  I’m not good with names.  I assume there are others who also fail miserably at remember who people are, in books or in real life.

Moving along, though, the book WAS entertaining enough for me to read it in one night and I DID get into it the last hundred or so pages.  I figure I’ll end up reading the whole series because I’ve always wanted to be in a secret society and this allows me to vicariously. I think that ultimately it probably tells a more accurate portrayal of society. I mean, it’s not as though political figures are killing people off everyday in real society life, right? Right?!?!

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