I’ve never been a particularly social person. My college years passed me by without my ever joining a club or entering a sorority, and I largely preferred it that way. Thus, though I had heard nothing but positive reviews about Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series, I doubted it would be something I could relate to. After finishing the first book, Secret Society Girl, I still had my doubts, as I had a hard time connecting with protagonist Amy. Though Amy is billed as being impressive in looks, brains, and social skills, I wasn’t sold. Sure, she has three guys vying for her (who doesn’t?), but the decisions she makes regarding school, friends, and men are usually misguided and often immature. Also, while she is a literature major and editor of the literary magazine who can supposedly out-reference the best of them, more often than not her inner monologue sounds like that of a middle schooler.
Still, I decided to read on, and while Amy manages to mature a little bit as the series goes on, I never completely embraced her as someone I could identify with. Which only increased my surprise in how voraciously I devoured the remaining three books in the series. I’ve never been in anything remotely like Rose and Grave, nor do I really wish to, and yet I found myself engrossed in the accounts of the trials that the club endures. I think this was mainly due to the friendships that are forged among the club members as the series progresses. While none of the Diggers would naturally have befriended each other if left to their own devices, and in fact struggle to harmonize their oft-clashing temperaments, the necessity of working together makes them into a family by the end. While I have no desire to run out and join a secret society
any time soon, I can’t help but be a tad bit jealous of the dynamic that the characters share by Tap & Gown‘s conclusion.
And of course, one of the most rewarding aspects of reading the series was to watch Amy’s gradual change in feelings toward a fellow Digger alum. With two such diverging personalities and so much water under the bridge between them, Amy and Poe have to fight merely to act cordially half the time. Nothing is picture perfect in their relationship, which is what makes them perfect for each other. They force the other not to change, but to grow.
This series came as a huge surprise to me, shoving its way onto my favorites shelf in merely two days. Even if it’s outside your comfort zone, give it a try.