Rites of Spring Break is another frothy cocktail in Peterfreund’s Ivy League series, following Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose, and mixed up according to the same recipe which is roughly:
- 1 part coming-of-age novel (protracted)
- 1 part feminist subtext
- 1 part formalized presentation (every chapter has an “I Confess…” header; text incorporates ordered lists and the occasional chart)
- 1/2 part not utterly reliable narrator
- 1 1/2 parts pseudo-credible gossip/speculation about Skull & Bones
- 1 1/2 parts mystery/suspense
- 5 parts college-age soap opera
I don’t mean the breakdown to be dismissive; if it were straight college soap I wouldn’t be along for the ride, and, as with any cocktail, the trick is in blending the various flavors of the constituents into a cohesive, pleasing whole.
I was way ahead of “confessor” Amy Haskell on most of the plot reveals this time around, but I’m not at all sure that’s not Peterfreund’s intent. It didn’t interfere much with my enjoyment of the novel and I’m looking forward to the concluding volume.
needs more demons? no