Lani's Reviews > Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities

Pledged by Alexandra Robbins
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's review
Oct 30, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: chicklit, own, non-fiction

I have a love/hate relationship with everything Alexandra Robbins writes. She is a total sensationalist and I feel a bit guilty every time I pick up one of her books. But... they're always very fun. I found this one more amusing than some others because it seemed so unabashedly self-centered. It really seemed like the author just wanted to join a sorority and wanted to make sure we all knew that she could still do it - AND pass for a college girl!

Read anything by Robbins with a GIGANTIC GRAIN OF SALT. There is no doubt in my mind that she often manipulates facts for the sake of continuity and shock value. That being said, I enjoy the portrayals of her characters (and they ARE characters, despite this book being theoretically non-fiction)... and I do recognize some truth in many of these women.

Never having been in a sorority, I can't speak much about how true her experiences are. But simply as a college girl I certainly experienced similar pressures and issues - either myself or with friends or hallmates. Stereotypes and caricatures exist for a reason, and they are covered in abundance in this book. Eating disorders, binge drinking, bad boys, terrible decisions, sisterhood, bitches, discrimination, and every other aspect of college experience are REAL, though hardly limited to pretty white blonde sorority girls.

The book was interesting, and I really enjoyed it. If you aren't willing to suspend some disbelief and just read the book however, I can CERTAINLY see why so many people objected to it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Brooke (new)

Brooke I'm glad you point out that those negative aspects aren't limited to sorority girls. I lived in a freshman dorm for a semester before moving into my sorority house, and there was absolutely no difference in how my dormmates acted compared to my sorority sisters. The drinking and the boys and the pot and the bickering was this pervasive college-aged-woman thing, not a sorority thing.

Lani I would say that perhaps a sorority has a tendency to "institutionalize" some of these behaviors more than say a freshman hall does though.

A group of freshman girls is only together for one year, whereas a sorority can sustain these "traditions" over time. Also since many of these are often 'required' for girls to feel that they fit in to a group of their own choosing, it is perhaps a bit more dangerous.

That's not to say sororities are the problem, but I do think they have the potential to create a more dangerous and long-standing "culture".

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