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The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
When Maggie starts her senior year of high school at ritzy all-girls Berkley Prep, she hopes to make a few new friends and reinvent herself as a popular girl. Then she's tapped to become a member of the most powerful clique at Berkley, the Revelers. Sure, the Revelers know how to have a good time, but they're deadly serious when it comes to their social cause: collecting t ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 11th 2009 by Speak (first published May 15th 2008)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Maggie Wishnick has moved from a small town in New Jersey to the Big Apple and is about to start as a senior at the prestigious Berkley Prep. On her first day, she meets Anne Marie, who is smart and friendly, but not one of the powerful girls of Berkley. Those girls would be Victoria, Lexi, and Sydney. But those three treat Maggie as if she is invisible.

After hearing about a secret, invitation-only party being given by Victoria on the gym bus, Maggie crash
Jan 25, 2009 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, trashy, 2009
Maggie has just started the ritzy Berkeley Prep as a senior, and she's hoping to make a few friends and avoid social ignominy. But she never expects to be welcomed into the most exclusive clique at Berkeley--and she never imagined that the clique is actually a secret society called the Revelers.

The Revelers have a mission: to document what life is like for today's teenagers so future generations can learn from the past. To that end, once a week, each Reveler must bring three Truths about a membe
Steph (Reviewer X)
Jan 28, 2009 Steph (Reviewer X) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People looking for a light, fun chick-lit book.
This novel in a word: Endearing.

It reminded me of Mean Girl in a way, especially at the end. You remember the Burn Book in which Regina George talked smack about all of her classmates? What is present here, instead of a book, is a wall where the girls who constitute the Revelers write truths—that is, deep, dark secrets—about themselves, the other girls in their class, and their teachers. When the Wall is found during a party, there’s a shower of mollusks signaling the arrival of Armageddon. Peop
Jun 04, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I liked the book. It was okay. Something that really bothered me was how similar it was to Mean Girls. The story is pretty much the same. Burn Book= The Wall, Maggie = Cady, stories about teachers and students. It was just a little too similar to it in my opinion. I would have given it too stars except that there were some things that made it more real for me than the movie. Getting Maggie's perspective was better than that of Lindsey Lohan. I also really liked the fact that Maggie actually trie ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I couldn't put this book down, and at the same time, I had a sick feeling the whole time I read it. It reminded me of the feeling I had when I watched "Mean Girls" know how it is going to end, but you are not sure how it is going to unfold. The whole time, you are encouraging the character to do the right thing, but you know what the inevitable consequences are. I loved the book, even though I felt kind of cheap after reading it, like any good chick-flick.
Kelly Thielen
Paul Zindel's daughter, Lizabeth, has written a decent first novel. Though I found the plot predictable, the characters are well-drawn and reflect the snooty high school girl very well. Maggie's conflicted needs to both belong and do what's right is a common dilemma for high school students around the country. Does she make all the right choices? No, but she does try to redeem herself in the end.

Book Talk: When Maggie has to transfer to a new school in New York City during her senior year, she i
Karen Ball
A cautionary tale of the price of popularity and the difference between gossip and truth. Maggie moves from New Jersey to Manhattan with her mother after the divorce, and her grandfather pays for her to attend a posh private school for her senior year. Maggie can't break into any of the long-established cliques, and is completely excluded until she crashes the back-to-school bash thrown by the most popular girl. The party is raided by the police, and Maggie rescues the three most popular girls b ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Well, this one wins the cheesy award! I kept rolling my eyes at the dialogue between the rich girls and the parents and the teachers. Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy! I expected more from Paul Zindel's daughter. But, I guess if this is published for 5th graders, than it might be okay. But, with the main characters being high school seniors, I imagine that the target audience is high school and junior high students. I think PHS students would be bored with this book.[return][return]Maggie moves to NYC her ...more
The Library Lady
I read the beginning set up, a bit of the middle and the end--which was more than enough to get the gist.

This is a lot like a Gossip Girls/Clique book, and like them it will become rapidly dated by its constant dropping of brand names and personalities.

Zindel tries to raise the tone by giving this a moral, and it works up to a point. It deepens things only by a fraction, because it is so obvious in its morality, and because her characterizations are so shallow. And the quotations about butterfli
Aug 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-reality
Abby refreshed my memory, this is basically ripping off Mean Girls but it a rich NYC version.

I think it is interesting that boys do not play the total central role in this story, it is power, and control. The girls are smart, sophisticated and much more concerned with their own academic, athletic, and creative success, and future then in how they are perceived by boys. Although there is a romance. These girls are not arm candy, nor are they nice girls but I do think they are realistic and mul
Apr 28, 2013 Tori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I particularly enjoyed this book. I've read it three times (first in 7th grade), and maybe it's just the fact that it's a typical mean girls-esque teenage chick story. Although, I would like to point out that this book was published before the movie Mean Girls was even made, so i don't think it "ripped off of" Mean Girls, if anything-- vice versa. Regardless, this book is cheesy, yes, and not entirely thrilling. But in the end, it's a super easy read and very easy going--enjoyable. I can't lie, ...more
Sep 10, 2009 stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2009
i wanted to love this more. i really did. it's not that i didn't like maggie. i did. i wanted more of maggie, i guess. less victoria, less lexi, less everyone else.

i wanted more of grandpa jack, and why the pressures of normal teenage life - or not "normal" - are so hard. because that resonated with me more than anything. i went to a crazy intense all-girls high school, and i wanted more. we didn't have to come up with 'The Wall' to deal with our issues, or have serious mental health issues.

Carrie Lawler
Jul 14, 2009 Carrie Lawler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was basically Mean Girls in novel form, with changes in obvious comparisons- instead of the burn book, they had the wall. I was hopeful that the symbolism of the monarch butterfly to Maggie, the main character, would be something that could carry over to the classroom, but it never came around like I hoped it would.
I would not use this in the classroom because it is so girl-centered. It might be good for girl book groups though, since it addresses the choice of friends theme. I think
Jun 21, 2010 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mean-girl
My favorite author's daughter writes about stuff very few people can relate to...hmmmm. I felt like I was watching "The Hills" or one of those other stupid shows. I couldn't really relate to or care for any of the characters. The mothers were completely out of touch with their kids. Are kids truly that controlling and mean? Maybe. Although few people live the lives of these girls, it might be appealing to read about how conniving and back-stabbing they are on pages instead of watching it upfold ...more
Sydney Miller
Sep 28, 2009 Sydney Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comfort-books
This book is about a girl named Maggie who moves to New York City and starts at Berkly Prep as a senior. What a year.

1)I got into reading this book, because I was browsing a section of the library, looking for a book, and came across this one instead.
4) The author wants us to know never do anything you don't feel right doing.
6) This book remonds me of 'The Clique' series by Lisi Harrison
9)I think that this book would be more intresting if there was more to the ending, or if they had a sequel.
Dec 27, 2012 Carley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I feel like I've heard this all before...oh wait, is this a bad knock-off of one of my favorite movies?...yep, that's right! Book meet your vastly superior twin, Mean Girls.

The main character goes from being an awkward teen with Tourette-like qualities ("Shit. Plop. Suck. Poop. Blow") to making very complex observations and sounding more like 40. There was just so much going (Cheating! Spying! Attempted Suicide! Oh my!) that nothing really got explored or went deeper.
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
I liked this book. It was a cute read, but I've never been a huge fan of the blacmailing, secret society type novels.

This book was enjoyable to read. I wasn't bored, but ti didn't have that "wow factor." There was nothing that stopped me in my tracks and said "I love this book."

For a more indepth review. Check out

~Danica Page
Jan 22, 2009 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful portrayal of the fear/angst/needs of teen-age girls and their desperate need to be part of the "in" group and the social snobbishness of that group. There is excellent characterization. Maggie is used to show how hard it is to be different and to stand up for values. Her experiences show the dangers of gossip, and she shows great courage to do what is right. It is a quick read, entertaining, and captures teen-age essence.
Courtney Johnson
I felt like this book was similar to mean girls. Instead of a burn book, it was the wall. Basically from the moment you learn about it, you know something is going to go wrong. I liked that afterwards, she ripped the wall posters up and still maintained her friendship with Sydney (or Lexi I forget, they merge together) and Anne Marie. This was a pretty fun read overall.
Mar 17, 2012 Farhana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I just grabbed this book on a whim and what did i get? A slow developing plot and a main character who doesn't stay true to herself. Needless to say, i got bored during the past 6 or so pages and skipped to the end. It was expected, the ending i mean. So, sorry Zindel. I particularly did not enjoy the story.
Jan 25, 2010 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Caroline Summit
I love this book! It was very obvious that Victoria and Lexi were up to no good. Sydney was very nice and just ending up with bad people for friends. Victoria's mom was no help either!! I mean seriously! Encouraging them to do the Wall?!?! What's up with her?!?! Please just read the book and feel sorry for Maggie!
Aug 18, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Maribeth
This was a rip off of Mean Girls. Which would make me think that I would love it. However, I've read other "prep school" type bully girls books that I liked better-Prep, Schooled, How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls etc. However, this was a very quick read and even though I thought it was a rip was entertaining.
Not bad, but reminded me of Rhymes With Witches with a slightly better ending. Also, a lot of things seemed to be conveniently glossed over or left out (such as where Maggie did end up getting all the money for her designer outfits) which was irritating.
Aug 12, 2009 Cassidy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it had a nice ending. things didn't end up perfect and I thought that was good, because in books like this everything is always perfect and they lived happily ever after... but not with this one! She learned a great lesson here
Stephanie A.
More 3.5 stars, I think. You could see the train wreck coming in this plot from a mile away, and yet did that make the journey any less fun? The answer is no. Two for two, Miss Poor Author Who Is Continually Overshadowed By Her Father's Name In All The Blurbs Even Though I've Never Read His Stuff!
May 06, 2013 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-chick-lit
The minute a popular teen girl character referred to kissing as "smooching", this book lost me. Dialogue needs to ring true in any genre, but especially in YA fiction. Add to that some serious editorial misses, and I just couldn't get into this one.
Jul 07, 2016 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The story is near reality in most of the high school students, trying to fit in. Only to realize, you are your own brand, and actually doesn't need any one to feel good about yourself. Recommended to middle schoolers.
Dec 26, 2012 Faith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is not literature, but will give you a good laugh at the way the author envisions teenage life. Very mean girls esque.
Aug 16, 2008 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult, 2008
Lizabeth Zindel is as good a writer as her father -- Paul -- but this suffered from some pacing problems, particularly toward the end. I'll keep reading her, though, because she tells a good story.
Jun 10, 2014 Rena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The extra star is for the really, really cute and somewhat clever cover. This is a dry tale of a girl learning about keeping stupid secrets and being lame.
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