I hereby confess:

I didn’t think I was going to like this book.

But I did! In fact, it’s getting a recommend from me. I read Diana’s blog. I met her briefly when I got this ARC at BEA in May. I like her, I know she’s nervous about her book release and I was terrified that I was going to dislike the book and be unable to write nice things about it. Not that I’m an important person in her life, lol, but still, I would hate to be the one to write a bad review. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whew!

I’m not sure I can verbalize why I didn’t expect to like it. I think I expected it to be…pretentious? In both characters and the writing. Something I couldn’t relate to, got a headache trying to concentrate on, with characters I couldn’t connect to. Nothing could be farther from the truth in this case. Despite the fact that I don’t “get” the allure of secret societies (I never even considered pledging a sorority in college, there’s no way I can fathom a secret society), and although there were times when I was impatient with Amy’s attitude towards her established friendships versus the secret society, I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the characters and the story both drawing me in and not letting go until the last page–and not even then.

Diana Peterfreund has an engaging voice, telling a fascinating tale from the viewpoint of the charming Amy Haskel, who has just been tapped into a secret society…just not the one she was expecting. The book tells us of Amy’s struggles to balance her “barbarian” life with her secret society as she enters their world and learns it’s not all a bed of roses (*snort* sorry to those of you who understand the pun, couldn’t resist) as well as her struggles to understand the secret society itself, her place in it and find an answer to the question…why her?

Amy is not a “perfect” character, she’s not snooty and she’s not pretentious. She’s an everygirl. Quirky and flawed and full of the same insecurities and questions that plague many of us, while still having a strength of character and convictions and a willingness to stand up for herself and others that makes you cheer for her just when you’re convinced she’s going to do something, give in, let someone push her around and end up making you love her not quite as much. That doesn’t happen (which I think shows just how talented Diana is at crafting a story that makes you believe).

The book is a fun, entertaining read from start to finish. I adored Diana’s voice and loved that she used unconventional methods of imparting information. As soon as I finished the last page and closed the book, I was ready for the sequel. I highly recommend this book. It hits shelves tomorrow. You can also order it from Amazon.

Want to know more about Diana? You can visit her blog here. (she’s been giving away prizes in a countdown to SSG’s release. There’s still one day left to win!)

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