I've been totally indulging in Diana Peterfreund's books. I love it when there is a tidy stack of books out by an author and I have access to all of them at once. It feels like a vacation: they are like candy and sand.
I really like her books- I've blogged about the blood thirsty unicorns and their hunters in Rampant and Ascendant and now I am halfway through her Ivy League novels (there are four).
They are quick, funny, smart books about a secret society that only this year has allowed women to be tapped for it. The Rose and Grave Society is the oldest and most secret, and most male, club on the Eli Campus and not everyone is happy about the new change to the gender roster. Our hero, Amy, an English major, really wanted to get into the Quill and Ink Society, but was tapped for R & G by default. After the hazing and the oath taking, she quickly embraces the society, if not the stupid boy stuff it represents.
Over the course of time, as the patriarchs of the society begin to get angrier at the distillation of the group, awful things start to happen: internships are dissolved, blackmail is insinuated, threats against families are made...And Amy gets mad!
Taking on the old boy's club and getting her whole year involved in righting the wrongs that have been perpetrated only makes the club tighter and stronger in their insistence that the changes that were made are good ones.
These are so much fun! Lots of misunderstandings, entanglements, experimentation, friendship, humor, classic literature. We had them classified as adult fiction at the store but if you have a teenage girl who is reading the Gossip Girls or the other "mean-girl clique" books, they (and you) will really like these. There is sex in the books but it isn't graphic. There is also great female friendships, support, ethical issues, doing what's right and good for the whole, not just the one.
The books take place during Amy's senior year in college and she is such a great character. All the characters in the books are fully rounded and realistic, and I really appreciate that Amy has a healthy interest in a good sex life! I love that she enjoys it and her relationships and that she knows what she wants to get out of them.
I mostly read YA novels where girls aren't actually supposed to a: actively pursue a sexual relationship and b: ENJOY IT! and c: expect the same thing from the relationship the partner does. Having Amy and her peers be in college, of legal age, allows for this discussion. She has a healthy ego, her self esteem is high, and she likes herself and her friends.
NO vampires, no aliens, no mean girls tearing everyone else apart, some alcohol (college students after all), just really smart, funny people in a secret society.
My nieces who are on their way to college will LOVE these books.
My great thanks to my work friend, Monica, for introducing me to these!