Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: Frat Girl

Frat Girl Frat Girl by Kiley Roache
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dates Read: December 30-31

Melissa's Musings

The sociologist in me loved this book. It features Cassie Davis, a high school student from Indiana, who comes up with an interesting way to earn the first year of a scholarship to a prestigious college. Conduct a social experiment in order to conduct research on culture inside a frat house, social norms within Greek organizations, and potentially disband the frat. What she doesn't anticipate is the far reaching effects, both on her personal life, and the lives of the fraternity brothers.

My own college experience was far removed from Cassie's. I didn't go to any frat parties, I only had a few friends. But I could definitely still relate on some levels. I lived in coed dorms all four years, so there was the general banter between all of us, that's similar to the banter between Cassie and her "brothers".

My sophmore year of college I had a roomate much like Leighton. Complete with Louis Vuitton luggage, and the haughty attitude that said she felt she was much too good to be sharing a room with the likes of me. I endured the riduculous screeching of her sorority sisters when they stopped by our room and I happened to be there. Frat boys sleeping over, and the ridiculous drama that came with too much drinking, (Hers, not mine) Needless to say, I had a single room for the remainder of my college life because the experiences with this roomate were not ones I wanted to suffer through again.

Cassie as a character is probably not too much like me personally, other than studying sociology and gender issues. I'm not a girly girl, and she seems to be one, at least on some level. But I do like her edginess. She stands up for what she feels is right, and doesn't give a fuck about it.

So much so that at one point she almost blows her entire experiment when she bursts out of an interview room to talk to one of the subjects after the recount a painful experience. The researcher in me was thinking "Oh no, what are you doing?!?! The other part was thinking "I probably would have done the same thing.

The author does a nice job of intermixing formal writing, for the research parts of the story, and the parts that deal with some of the heavier subject matter when the characters are discussing feminism, and keeping it real, and genuine. Although I really could have done without the use of the word "fuckbois". That's just an annoying textspeak term to me, but I see why she used it.

As Cassie gets more involved both with pledging, and with her project, you can tell that its going to be difficult to see how this all will turn out. She gets personally involved, which I know would be hard not to do, social experiment or not. But, because of the experiment, her experiences and friendships are based on mistruths.

The "relationship" she has with Connor is stereotypical. He only wants one thing, and turns into an ass when she says no. Her relationship with Jordan is sweeter. Though I didn't find it overly ridiculous, like it could have been. It felt just right.

I also really liked Duncan's character. He's the perfect mixture of a macho football player but someone who also cares about people. Cassie really seems to have an impact on him, as is apparent in one of his last scenes in the book.

The serious subjects of the book are important, and dealt with well. This also gave me some serious laughs. Since this is an ARC, I can't quote directly, because I can't compare with the finished book, but lets just say there is a scene where the frat brothers talk about "laying eggs" that had me laughing pretty hard.

The twist from Peter at the end isn't really one I had expected, but I definitely appreciated it. On the level of the impact of Cassie's influence, and on a personal level, I agreed with what he had to say.

Given that Cassie has to propose a new project each year to maintain her scholarship, I think there's room for Roache to continue with these characters and I wouldn't be disappointed to see more of them, but I imagine it'd be difficult to maintain the quality and keep it fresh like this was.

Does anyone have any college stories they'd like to share? Do you think you might consider reading Frat Girl?

*I won a copy of this via Goodreads Giveaways*

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