Rites of Spring (Break)

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Rites of Spring (Break)

An Ivy League Novel

Amy Haskel is a senior at Eli University. She's not sure what she's going to do when she gets out but that isn't really worrying her. Amy is a member of a secret society where she is known as Bugaboo. This society is kind of like a sorority or fraternity but is much more top secret. The society Amy belongs to is Rose and Grave. Their rival is the Dragon's Head. Anyway, Amy was tapped to join at the beginning of her senior year and she has just returned from winter break. The book starts out with the current group of Rose and Grave diggers trying to break into the Dragon's Head building. The only digger that can be identified is Amy and it seems that the Dragonheads are seeking revenge only on Amy by doing things like having a tray of soda dumped on her head or having her grades changed in the computer system.

When Amy was tapped to join this society, she had to choose between her then boyfriend, Brandon and the society. She chose the society and lost the boyfriend. Suddenly, Brandon contacts Amy and wants to get together to work on paperwork for fellowships. Considering Brandon is a genius in math and Amy hasn't taken any, she's a little surprised. When he continues to want to hang out with Amy when she knows he has a girlfriend, things don't seem quite right. His current girlfriend belongs to Dragon's Head and Amy wonders if some of the stuff happening to her isn't due to a little jealousy.

Finally Spring Break comes and Amy is joining many of her fellow diggers on an island owned by Rose and Grave. She plans on it being a relaxing week but before she even gets to the island, bad things start happening. Amy falls off the boat taking them to the island and her life jacket falls off. This is extremely bad, as Amy doesn't swim.

I loved this book. Ms Peterfreund's writing style is easy to read and you just want to see what will happen next. She brings just the right feel to college life, the worry of what next along with the fun of not having any real responsibilities. When Amy's books are destroyed due to Dragon's Head and her not wanting to try to explain this to her parents, Rose and Grave members immediately start taking up a collection to replace them. This is truly college life.

The characters are excellent. Amy is the main character and you feel as though you know her. She is confused and still trying to do the right thing at all times even if it's not what the majority want. When Brandon comes back into her life, she won't even consider doing anything questionable until she is sure the girlfriend is out of the picture. Jaime or Poe, as he's known to Rose and Grave members, is a very complex character that you begin to love. He's in graduate school and so older than the current group of diggers. He's seen as being mean and grumpy yet when he learns Amy can't swim, takes the time to teach her some basics. Of course, as he'd finds that he really likes Amy, this is no hardship but others don't understand why Amy would want to hang around with him. The other digger's personalities come out and none are the same. This can cause a little confusion at first as there are so many of them but as the story progresses, these differences are appreciated.

While this could have been just another coming of age book, it's not. It has an excellent mystery in the story line, which isn't solved until close to the end. Also, on the island are Kurt Gehry and his family. Kurt just quit being the White House Chief of Staff during allegations that he knowingly hired illegal aliens to work at his home. His son, a young teen, likes to hang around with the college students and has been brought up on stories concerning digger activities. Camped on a neighboring island are people that would like to invade the island to research this secret society. They think they are trying to overthrow the government or other covert operations. When bad things start happening, does it have to do with Kurt hiding

Book Blurb for Rites of Spring (Break)

From “witty and endearing” to “impossible to put down,” the critics have given elite marks to Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose. Now, in a wildly captivating new novel, Amy “Bugaboo” Haskel and her fellow Rose & Grave knights are trading cold, gray, hyperintellectual New Haven for an annual rite of spring (well, early March) in Florida. For Amy, a week of R&R on her secret society’s private island should be all fun in the sun—and an escape from an on-campus feud with a rival society that’s turned disturbingly personal. But along with her SPF 30 and a bikini, Amy is bringing a suitcase full of issues to remote Cavador Key. Graduation from Eli University looms, not to mention buckets of unfinished business with a former flame and—most pressing of all—the sudden, startling transformation of a mysterious Rose & Grave patriarch from sheerly evil to utterly…appealing? Just when Amy thinks Spring Break can’t get any less relaxing, a wacky “accident” puts everyone on edge. And that’s only the beginning, as Amy starts to suspect that someone has infiltrated the island. With some major Rose & Grave secrets to be exposed, and the potential fallout enough to take down one of America’s most loathsome figureheads, what she can’t know is that the party crasher is deadly serious about making sure “Bugaboo” doesn’t get back to Eli alive…. About the Author Diana Peterfreund graduated from Yale University in 2001 with degrees in geology and literature. A former food critic, she now resides in Washington, D.C. Her previous two novels, Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose, are available now from Delta.

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2008 5.00