Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: Sorority

Sorority by Genevieve Sly Crane

I read Sorority by Crane over a week ago, but I've been sitting on it wondering how exactly to review it. You see, the book is not your average summer page-turner full of plot twists. Instead, it is a series of vignettes about various sorority sisters who all lived in the house when a tragedy occurred. Rather than unfolding as a linear plot, it works more as a variety of separate but connected short stories. The stories are connected through the house and the sister who is no longer alive, Margot. As someone who is a fan of short stories, I loved the way this novel works. But, I suspect others may be surprised by the format.

Next, Sorority is a work of fiction. However, it is apparent that the writer knows some "secret sorority" stuff that anyone who has participated in Greek life will recognize such as rituals and Big/Little relationships. As a former sorority girl, I loved those parts of the book! But, it is important to point out that, again, this is a work of fiction. If you read it expecting it to be like the undercover memoir Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, you have the wrong idea. (Side note - I loved Pledged for different reasons).

As a work of fiction, Crane is able to tell stories that seem realistic and far-fetched at the same time. For example, in my sorority years, there were young women who had some run-ons with drugs, but unlike drugs in the book, they involved weed or Ritalin. In the book, drugs are an everyday experience in this house - and wind up contributing to a death. There is a sister who has an odd job as a naked sushi model and I had some sisters that worked as shot girls in bars. Similar in the modeling aspect, but very different. Do you see what I mean?

I have seen where some readers have taken issue with the antics of the sorority girls in the book, but I just want to say, it is fiction! I enjoyed it! And, I really liked how it was more of a character story than a fast-paced book based on a scintillating plot. I thought it was interesting how Crane showed her different women behaved and how they were (or were not) affected by the tragedy. Too often, people mistake sororities as being filled with a bunch of look-alikes and act-alikes, when anyone who has been in one will tell you this is far from the truth. Sorority does a fine job of showing that is just the case.

Sorority by Genevieve Sly Crane was just released in time for the summer (and before fall recruitment begins).

*Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with this advanced reader's copy.

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