- Series: Strivers Row
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Villard; 1 Reprint edition (September 4, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375757589
- ISBN-13: 978-0375757587
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 118 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sorority Sisters: A Novel (Strivers Row) Paperback – September 4, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Bouncy and dialogue-driven, but awkwardly written, this debut novel strives to teach its predominantly African-American, 20-something female audience how to become strong and self-confident women independent of the financial or emotional support of family and boyfriends. While certainly a good life lesson, this maturing process occurs for five college women during one melodramatic sorority rush week, and there are so many characters with predictable, public-service-announcement problems that it's a challenge to sort them all out, much less learn from their mistakes. The hapless heroines--cute ingenue Cajen Myers, spoiled rich kid Stephanie Madison, romantically torn Malena Adams, ghetto-born-and-raised Tiara Johnson and book-smart Chancey Wright--must overcome their diverse economic and social backgrounds in the process of pledging a choice sorority. While the women vie for the best look and the best guy (both of which receive an excessive amount of description), the five friends also seem to compete for "worst obstacle to success," what with Cajen's herpes, Stephanie's drug-addicted biological mother and other issues like cheating boyfriends, unwanted pregnancy and low self-esteem. These are all worthy topics, but Butler's crowd of characters commonly experience revelations that conveniently guarantee a shallow victory for all by story's end. The book aims for suspense--will all five women join the sorority? Will they commit to the right man?--but the stereotypical characters and predictable situations remain insubstantial, although perhaps entertaining and even informative for a teenage audience. (May) FYI: Butler founded Lavelle Publishing, which issued this book in 1998.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Butler writes a very engaging story about five African American college women struggling with campus life and the rigors of pledging. Cajen, Chancey, Malena, Stephanie, and Tiara come from diverse backgrounds and all have equally ambitious goals. Their decision to join the sorority and become a part of an enduring sisterhood forces each woman to utilize her unique strengths and confront her buried weaknesses. Cajen, the freshman, seduced by a more experienced upperclassman, struggles with the aftermath of a one-night stand; Chancey is the insecure girlfriend of a soon-to-be professional football player; Malena is the highly motivated and independent college student; Stephanie is the adopted daughter raised by a prominent Atlanta family; and Tiara is the disadvantaged inner-city girl struggling with her distrust of men. Each woman matures to confront her insecurities through sheer determination to survive not only the pledging process but also the rite of passage between friends and the unique bonds of sorority sisterhood. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I really enjoyed all the characters of this book. I feel as if Butler gave us "enough" background on each one. The life mix of the these young ladies was very realistic. It is exactly what you will find on any college campus. One came from a rich family making for some class differences. There was one with a troubled past and dysfunctional family which made her feel somewhat insecure at times. There was the ambitious and career driven one. Another young woman was struggling with the fact that she was adopted. I admired the fact that when the pledge process was over these women held on to their friendships that they had prior to joining their sorority. That was a great point for Butler to make because stereotypically people have the idea that once you join a sorority or fraternity you forget all about the friends you had prior to joining.
Butler did an outstanding job on showing how college age women and men handle relationships. There was friend betrayal, an unplanned pregnancy, breakups, and the handling of the contraction of an STD. It was refreshing to see how these characters worked out and talked out many situations that were really hard to share. This work exemplified what the strength of sisterhood looks like.
Having pledged the first and finest Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., myself reading about these young ladies brought back some memories. There were many relatable moments throughout the text. Butler made the pledge process interesting but with much discretion. I appreciated that most of all. Overall, this was a well balanced and very enjoyable read.
the story has five main characters, all who dream of nothing more than to join the "ladies in pink". i honestly would think their thoughts would be more focused towards something else- like their classes or financial aid. and each of the characters, while were created in good intentions fall short of leaping from the book. all of their actions seemed contrived and predictable. for example, cajen. i'm not going to give the story away, but she has an almost unrealistic view on relationships and sex. butler tells the readers that her first time is perfect and she expects all the other times to be as well. stephanie is filthy rich but really was adopted, malena has weight issues (which the book only mentions once), tiara comes from a broken home and is trying to make it and chancey is probably doing the best out of all. i would like to ask the author why did she have to make the freshman so naive? or have a character that had such a rough life? the characters come off as caricatures almost since the reader is given almost all of the details about their lives.
i'm not quite for sure what it is that i didn't like about the book. maybe it was style- although authors such as Eric Jerome Dickey can create a pathos for his characters through witty dialouge, butler chooses to do it with lame explainations for eveything. or maybe it was the omniscent point of view. i can't quite but my finger on it. but the characters move through the book with almost no intelligent thought or conversation, or take time to make speeches. the dialouge and plot along with the style does not allow the characters to develop from fictional items to real people. the book doesn't let the characters be smart, sassy or appear the least bit real.
perhaps i was asking for too much when i read the book and i expected a full scope on the college experience from a black perspective. because what i got was a bunch of cliches with a somewhat abrupt ending. the book has its good parts but not enough for me to recommend it. if you are looking for a good book that's lightly entertaining than read this one. i would suggest "Ruminations on College Life" while you're at it. (at least "Ruminations" doesn't try to sell a serious point.) but if you want to know the full scope of college or see some excellent writing, then forget this book.