Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sorority 101: The New Sisters by Kate Harmon

As freshman year at LU kicks off, Lora-Leigh, Jenna, and Roni are all equally thrilled to have found a home in the Zeta Zeta Tau sorority. Lora-Leigh still can’t believe she’s wearing a sorority pin and, what’s more, that she and her new sisters have become so close so fast. Roni already loves her sorority, so when it comes time to elect a new member president, she can’t keep herself from adding her name to the ballot. And Jenna can’t keep herself from being in two places at once! The girl has a full load of classes, a demanding antisorority roommate, a marching band scholarship to uphold, and lots of sorority activities to attend. How’s a girl supposed to appease everyone and everything—not to mention strike up a romance with a very hot fraternity boy—all the while keeping her diabetes hidden? Lora-Leigh and Roni are there for her, but initiation is on the horizon and Jenna must decide if she really trusts her new friends enough to share her secret.

Grade: A- //

Memorable Quotes:
ARC version -- cannot quote.

Review time!
I am hopelessly addicted to these books. I’m serious, dude. Someone disentangle me quickly so I can move on with my review pile.

I thought the first one in the series, Zeta or Omega?, didn’t have enough focus on its characters, opting to shine the spotlight on the sorority recruitment process instead. That’s fine—I can even see where it is necessary. Regardless, I was hoping against hope that The New Sisters would backpedal and focus on its characters more. No series, in my opinion, can fulfill optimum quality value without good character development. (Not to mention the fact hearing about the inner workings of sororities is interesting only for so long!)

This installment focuses entirely on its characters while still dabbing on sorority life in the background (but of course, as it’s initiation period!). It does a great job of portraying the emotions of the three main girls—Lora-Leigh, Roni and Jenna—in a way that, by the end, gave me a clear image of each of their identities. Their storylines are far from original, but there’s something captivating there; it’s working its charm on me.

When I read the first book, I couldn’t pinpoint what had registered with me that made me like it as much as I did. After finishing this one, though, I have a vague idea: The relationship between the sorority sisters is inspiring. They get along great, they support each other, and they’re each other’s families—the way they mesh together, seamless, is this series’s star quality. While I will say the sisters sometimes have a too-perfect friendship with each other, I can’t deny there’s an appeal to it all that makes these books such a great reading experience.

As with the previous novel, this one has masterful writing, relatable characters, and heartwarming situations. Great afternoon/beach read. Very much recommend, so much in fact that I went scouring for info on further books and found out the third, The Formal, will be out in November of this year! (And the irony here is, all this info could also be found on the back of the ARC I got...)


ambeen said...

They sound great!

Read the comments on my "The End" post...I suspect you'll be happy with my last comment, even if it isn't set in stone that I will. ;)

alison ashlee said...

As always, such a good review! I love hitting refresh. It only sucks when I figure that there's no likelyhood of a new post because of something called ... sleep time.

Hope you post more soon!

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