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Secret Society Girl (Ivy League) Hardcover – July 18, 2006

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The exploits of Ivy League secret societies have provided healthy fodder for writers. Peterfruend is the latest to go inside the exclusive clubs, albeit with a romantic twist to her plot. Amy Haskel is a junior at prestigious Eli University, the unassuming editor of the literary magazine and a self-described commitment-phobe. When she's "tapped" by the most elite and mysterious society on campus, Rose & Grave, life takes a turn for the bizarre. Soon she's swilling champagne with the sons of senators and CEOs, and keeping secrets from her roommate and her not-quite boyfriend. This is the first in a planned Secret Society Girl series, and Peterfreund leaves some loose ends to entice readers to pick up her next installment. The story is frivolous but fun to read--full of quirky characters and situations. It's bound to appeal to readers looking for entertaining escape and college humor. Aleksandra Kostovski
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Peterfreund’s descriptions of the ambitious Amy Haskel’s collegial life are both vivid and amusing."—The New York Observer

"Readers will cheer on the not-so-underdog as she faces disgruntled male alumni and finds that membership does indeed have privileges."—Tampa Tribune

"A fun, breezy, beach-perfect diversion … with a myriad of cultural and intellectual references to everything from Eyes Wide Shut to Aristotle's Poetics."—Winston Salem Journal

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Ivy League (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (July 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385340028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,016,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Peterfreund is the author of eight novels for adults and teens, as well as several critically acclaimed short stories and a handful of essays on popular children's literature. She grew up in Florida, and lives with her family in Washington, D.C. When she's not writing, Diana enjoys taking long hikes with her dog, Rio, reading, working in her garden, watching far too much Netflix Watch It Now, and being addicted to Twitter. her website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Chick with Book on August 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to reading Secret Society Girl. It sounded just up my alley. I settled into a comfy chair and prepared to be swept away.

I wasn't.

Amy Haskel is a junior at Eli (read: Yale) University. Her dream job appears to be working for Glamour, yet she poo-poos her upcoming "posh" summer internship working for a New York book publisher. To bulk up her resume, Amy works on the school literary magazine, as does Brandon Weare. Amy likes Brandon as a friend, and she'll sleep with him as the need arises, but she doesn't want anything more from him.

The story kicks off when Amy is tapped by Rose & Grave (read: Skull & Bones). Only problem is, Amy has no clue why she has been tapped. She is not uber-wealthy (although Amy doesn't seem too concerned about how to pay for Eli, so she's obviously not hurting for cash). She's not uber-smart (although Amy brags about getting into Eli early decision). She's not uber-hot (although Brandon and the class stud are both very warm for her form.) She's also not male. It's the last item that becomes a sticking point, as Rose & Grave (also known as the Diggers) has been a males-only society up to now. The patriarchs, or Digger alums, make a 20th century fuss over girl cooties infecting their precious "tomb" (even the real Skull & Bones first let women in over 15 years ago) and threaten Amy's internship (which she suddenly decides she really, really wants). Will Amy stay in Rose & Grave or go?

Hint: this is the start of a series. In case there is any doubt.

The main trouble with the book, aside from the predictability of the plot, is that Amy is amorphous. We have no idea what she truly wants, other than to someday see her name on a magazine masthead. She vacillates over Brandon.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Rhiannon Bettis on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Amy Haskel is a junior at Eli University. She's an editor of the campus literary magazine. Eli University has secret societies and Amy thinks she is going to be picked for Quill & Ink but she is really picked by Rose & Grave. Rose & Grave is supposedly a very powerful society that runs politics and business in America. They also only take males, so Amy doesn't know if she really was picked by them, or if someone is playing a joke.

This book is okay. Some of the writing is humorous. But the story is boring. Rose & Grave gets into trouble with its alumni because the current members decide to bring in women. So the alumni cause trouble for the members. The members fight back. If you like books where the action is a boardroom argument with privileged people fighting to stay even more privileged, then you might like this.

Amy can be funny and her lists are cute. But Amy's actions don't make much sense. She spends most of the book not sure if she wants to be in Rose & Grave. They play mean and sexist practical jokes on her during initiation and they lie to her. So why does she fight to stay in a club that she isn't sure she even likes? It seems just because the club is prestigious, which doesn't say very good things about Amy, who also accepts help from the society to cheat on her final.

From the title of the book, I was expecting some intrigue or suspense, but there wasn't any. Also, it sounded like this would be a thinly veiled look at the real life Yale secret society Skull & Bones. But Rose & Grave comes off pretty much just like your everyday college fraternity. And you don't learn anything about what makes life special at an Ivy League school either.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dizziey on November 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Diana Peterfreund's "Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel" centered around Amy Haskel, was tapped by the elite secret society, Rose & Grave, in the prestigious Eli University. Amy was perplexed as to why she was tapped as she was just the editor of the school's literary magazine. Adding to her confusion was that her relationship with best friend and roommate, Lydia, who belonged to another secrety society, was strained due to the secrecy of their societies. After the initiation, Amy realized she belong in a society that consisted of the governor's son, the rich, and of course, the powerful.

This was quite an enjoyable read as it was fast-paced, fun, and quite engaging. Initially, I was hesitant about the book as I was not sure if it would be too "teen" like but I was glad that it wasn't. Eventhough the main character Amy appeared indecisive and quick to judge, you can't but help root for her. I realized this was part of a series and I hope that the author would put more emphasis on the supporting/secondary characters so that the story would not be too one-dimensional. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Schneider on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I just recently reread it in preparation for RITES of SPRING BREAK.

I enjoyed it immensely. My only issue with the book was keeping track of the real names and society names of the characters. More than once I had to flip to the list of the society members to see who was talking. There were a lot of characters, and some got lost in the shuffle. Diana Peterfruend somewhat remedies this in the future books. She focuses more on a small set of characters.

Overall, I thought that this was a fun book, and if you enjoyed it too, you'll really like the UNDER THE ROSE and RITES OF SPRING BREAK!!
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