Secret Society Girl [Secret Society Girl Series Book 1] [Secure]
Click on image to enlarge.
by Diana Peterfreund
Description: In a fabulous blend of the bestselling traditions of Prep and The Devil Wears Prada, Secret Society Girl takes us into the heart of the Ivy League's ultraexclusive secret societies when a young woman is invited to join as one of their first female members. Elite Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to be tapped into Rose & Grave, the country's most powerful--and notorious--secret society. She isn't rich, politically connected, or ... well, male. So when Amy receives the distinctive black-lined invitation with the Rose & Grave seal, she's blown away. Could they really mean her? Whisked off into an initiation rite that's a blend of Harry Potter and Alfred Hitchcock, Amy awakens the next day to a new reality and a whole new set of "friends"--from the gorgeous son of a conservative governor to an Afrocentric lesbian activist whose society name is Thorndike. And that's when Amy starts to discover the truth about getting what you wish for. Because Rose & Grave is quickly taking her away from her familiar world of classes and keggers, fueling a feud, and undermining a very promising friendship with benefits. And that's before Amy finds out that her first duty as a member of Rose & Grave is to take on a conspiracy of money and power that could, quite possibly, ruin her whole life. A smart, sexy introduction to the life and times of a young woman in way over her head, Secret Society Girl is a charming and witty debut from a writer who knows her turf--and isn't afraid to tell all....
eBook Publisher: Random House, Inc./Dell Publishing,
Filament eBookStore Release Date: July 2006
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [754 KB]
All formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, CA What's this
"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
It all began on a day in late April of my junior year. I was in my dorm room, for once, trying to squeeze in a load of laundry between a tuna salad sandwich in the dining hall and my afternoon lecture on War and Peace, or as I like to think of it, WAP. (That's not an acronym, by the way, but onomatopoeia. It's the sound the hefty volume makes when I drop it on my desk.) Professor Muravcek's lectures tended toward the impenetrable side and I wanted to spend some time brushing up on my notes. I was tilting toward a B in that class, which was unacceptable if I wanted to graduate with honors in the major. However, it was either laundry or rushing out that night to buy a new package of underwear. You know you're desperate when trekking downtown to GAP Body is easier than waiting for a free dryer.
But neither Tide nor Tolstoy was in the cards for me that afternoon. I'd just finished disentangling my fuchsia lace thong (Friday night date panties) from the legs of my "going out jeans" and was on my way out the door with a load of darks when the phone rang.
Crap. It was probably my mom. She seemed to have a divine sense of when I'd be in my room.
I balanced the basket on my hip and picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Amy Maureen Haskel?"
"You got her," I said, shaking one of my balled-up gym socks free.
"Your presence is required at 750 College Street, room 400, at two o'clock this afternoon."
Two o'clock was in fifteen minutes. "Who is this?"
"750 College Street, room 400. Two P.M." And then the line went dead.
I plopped back onto the faded couch, strewing tank tops and pj bottoms across the floor. Talk about rotten timing.
There was no question in my mind who it was on the other end of the phone. Quill & Ink was the "literary" senior society on campus, the usual refuge for scribblers of all varieties. It boasted several well-known writers amongst its alumni, and as the current editor-in-chief of the campus literary magazine, I knew I was a shoo-in, just like my predecessor Glenda Foster had been before me. That is, I would be if I made it to the afternoon's impromptu interview.
I was going to have to have a long talk with Glenda. She was in the Russian Novel class, too, and knew I was struggling, yet still scheduled my society interview during lecture time!
Society interviews were always arranged on super-short notice. Part of the test was to see if you could get there. I hadn't yet figured out what they did if the prospective tap didn't answer her phone—if she was busy, for example, enduring both the crime and the punishment of Professor Muravcek's soporific speaking voice.
Laundry all but forgotten, I hurried back into my room. Though the interview would be merely a formality, I fully intended to follow along with society pomp and circumstance and dress up. (Societies are all about the spectacle.) My suit was crammed in the back of my closet behind my ski jacket and the flared velvet getup I'd worn to February's seventies-themed Boogie Night. I hadn't worn my suit since January's spate of internship interviews, during which I'd landed a posh (insert eye roll here) summer job xeroxing form rejections at Horton. It needed a good lint brushing, but otherwise, it was okay. I paired it with a fresh cotton shell, and went spelunking for a pair of panty hose sans runs. On the third dip into my underwear drawer, I found one. When, oh, when will I learn to throw away unusable nylons? (Not today, apparently.) I stuffed the other two pairs back in the drawer and wrestled the third onto my legs. I needed to shave, but the nylons would cover that.
In January, I'd gotten my light brown hair cut into one of those shoulder-length, multilayered bobs I was positive was the height of fashion for the Manhattan literati. (It wasn't.) The downside of the cut was that, even with three months' growth, it took twenty minutes with a blow dryer and a big round brush to make it look halfway decent. I didn't have that kind of time right now, so I was relegated to ponytail-ville.
I slipped into my black pumps and clopped through my suite's early Gothic—complete with lead-veined windows—common room. We have one of the sweetest setups in the whole residential college—two sizeable singles connected by a wood-lined common room that featured a non-working, but darn pretty, fireplace. Only downside is the slightly pockmarked hardwood floor. Have I mentioned how much I hate heels?
The door to the suite opened before I could turn the knob. My suitemate and best friend, Lydia Travinecek, entered, balancing an armload of dusty library books, a travel mug of coffee, and her dry cleaning. Lydia is always more organized than I am. She has time for lunch, homework, and trouser pleats. It's like she's a lawyer already.
She looked me up and down. "Quill?"
I shrugged. "Who else?" Quill & Ink wasn't a secret society in the traditional sense. Heck, they didn't even have one of those giant stone tombs like the big societies used to hold their meetings—just a one-bedroom apartment above Starbucks.
She nodded curtly, and flopped the dry-cleaning bags over the back of our couch. Two days ago, Lydia had hurried out of here in her own carefully pressed suit. "Good luck, not that you'll need it. Hasn't every Lit Mag editor gotten into Quill & Ink since, like, the Stone Age?"
Pretty much. I pushed back the tiny thread of annoyance that Lydia hadn't yet told me what society had been courting her. It was silly; I knew that when Tap Night came around and she was picked by her society (whatever one it was), Lydia would drop the secrecy routine.
Copyright © 2006 by Diana Peterfreund.