Tuesday, May 22, 2012

UNDER THE ROSE by Diana Peterfreund

Publisher: Random House
Date published: June 26, 2007
ISBN 9780385340038
Young Adult, Mystery
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher

It’s the start of another semester at Eli University and along with the rest of her Digger class Amy Haskell is back on campus. The Diggers, members of Rose & Grave secret society are back in force as well.

Her summer internship was an eye opener for her and she’s considering a change in direction, but not just yet. She’s got some papers due and well, there is that thesis project to consider. And there’s also Brandon, the guy she realized she should have loved before she lost him and it looks like he’s got a new squeeze and she seems to really adore him. Her best friend and roommate Lydia is starting some pretty heavy dating too and it’s with one of Amy’s brothers. Not a blood relative but one of the other Diggers—members of her secret society. Somehow she and Josh, Lydia’s current beau, manage to keep their society life separate from his growing relationship with said roommate. And then there is George. George Harrison Prescott, aka, Puck. He’s cute. Well actually he’s hot and until this semester Amy has kept her feelings for him under wraps because George has quite the reputation as a ladies’ man.

But instead of being able to sort out all the romantic feelings swirling around her Amy is confronted with a mysterious threat: someone is sending the Diggirls (the girls of Rose & Grave) some unsavory emails. Worse than the strange emails is the fact that whoever is sending them is also threatening to expose Rose & Grave’s darkest secrets. As Amy delves into finding the culprit one of their own disappears. Was she kidnapped, is she in hiding, or simply take off for a week on her own. And then there are the strange letters just sitting on her desk. Can Amy rescue her friend, save the society and end up in one piece?

Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society books kinda creep up on me and I love how she does it. They start out like a soft read. You know, just turn the pages half paying attention to the story. The characters are nice people. They’re college students with college student issues. They have relationships, both of the friend kind and the romantic kind. They have their classes and career decisions to make.
And then the fun begins. In book one, SECRET SOCIETY GIRL, Amy is tapped to join the most notorious of all secret societies, Rose & Grave. In book 2 UNDER THE ROSE, she is beginning her senior year. Ms. Peterfreund takes Amy to the next level in a credible story. She’s succeeded in her junior year, made it through initiation into her society, met a really great guy and promptly screwed it up and is finding she has feelings for another guy. The year before she thought she had the perfect internship set up only to lose it in the machinations of some of the men who didn’t want women in Rose & Grave and now, after a summer doing something different, she’s rethinking her goals.

I liked Amy to begin with. She’s a likeable character but she still grows on you and by the end of the book I liked her even more. She’s smart, loyal, emotional and the kind of person you want guarding your back.

The Diggers and Diggirls end up fighting the battle to save Rose & Grave on two fronts and while one of them is fairly clear from the start, the other leaves you wondering how you missed that. It makes for a good mystery.

While I have more books in this series to read I’m already hoping the author will take on another series that features Amy and her friends say 10 years in the future where maybe they are called back to Eli to help the current class of Diggers.
Both books 1 and 2 are stand alone and do not really have to be read in order but book 2 makes more sense if you read them in order. The series is fairly middle of the road and has something for both men and women and a span of age groups.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

No comments: