23 September 2010

Double Edition Book Banter -- Under the Rose and The Rites of Spring (Break)

Title: Under the Rose and The Rites of Spring (Break) (Ivy League novels 2 and 3)
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Length: ~340 pages each
Genre: Chick-lit
Where Bethany's copy came from: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Amy Haskel, who we first met in Secret Society Girl, is back with her Rose and Grave brothers. (and sisters, but that's another plot). In Under the Rose, one of the Diggirls goes missing, at the same time that society secrets are being leaked to the media. Amy is worried that the Diggirl isn't just missing, but kidnapped. And proving her suspicions will bring more club secrets to light, secrets that could destroy Rose and Grave from within. Disaster averted the Rose and Grave crew heads to sunny Cavador Key over Spring Break for some R&R. But it seems that society trouble follows them to the club's private island. A freaky accident on the way to the island raises Amy's suspicions, and her interest in a fellow Digger. She's tried inner-society romance once before, but can she navigate a possible second Rose and Grave romance and keep the club alive to finish out their senior year?

Banter Points: I almost never read two series books back-to-back, but I was having so much fun with Under the Rose that I went straight on. I've got the fourth Ivy League book checked out of the library but I'm forcing a break so I'll enjoy the last one more. What's so fun, you ask? Peterfreund's writing. She's got that pitch-perfect blend of literary allusion, pop culture, conspiracy paranoia, romance and snark that the pages just fly by. Everything in college seems so dramatic and Peterfreund catches that fervor and puts it into the story. Whether Amy's uncovering vast conspiracies or trying not wonder about a certain boy, or her senior thesis, she's doing it with such aplomb.

Bummer Points: Maybe it's just a sign of our times, but the other Diggirls (and Amy too, for that matter) can be so mean to each other. While the snark is fun, occasionally it just gets to be too much.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like Megan McCafferty's series, then Peterfreund is right up your alley. It's definitely a girl book, but it's got mystery and romance to cut across genre boundaries.

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