Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2018
I finished reading Frat Girl about a week ago, and am still kind of lingering over the disappointing, abrupt ending. The book read like a teen movie, with realistic dialogue and plenty of current pop-culture references, but seemed to hit a wall rather than a climax. The best arc was the slow-burn romance between Cassie and her pledge-brother, Jordan. I found almost all the bits with the Stevenson people kind of a drag. I really wanted to like Cassie, but I think we got off to the wrong foot with her extreme, narrow view of feminism in the first few chapters, and her blind distaste for Greek life (sorority girl, here!) She basically is willing to sell-out a group of people for her own gain via joining the fraternity to get her expensive Stanford-esque school paid for on an elite scholarship. I just couldn't relate to her, and though she was well-written, I didn't find her very likable until nearly the end of the book. She was so concerned with how Delta Tau Chi treated minorities, she skimmed over and accepted how their own pledges were hazed? Her core group of fraternity brothers, however, were the only reason I kept reading! I could see distinct similarities between friends of mine, and I appreciated their well-developed, unique personalities. My favorites were Peter, the stoic Delta Tau Chi President, and genuine, likable Jordan. The best character growth was in her fellow pledge, jock Duncan. The friendship with rock-climber Jackie was a refreshing contrast to Cassie's hipster friend Alex, who was increasingly frustrating and, honestly, pretty annoying. My favorite part of the book was when Cassie's former roommate, Leighton, and her Kappa Alpha Delta sorority sisters teach/roast Cassie as to what sororities are really about (promoting female friendship and creating career networks for post-graduation,) offer insight to a broader view of feminism, and remind her what oppression really is. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this novel, but it didn't really deliver. I enjoyed the realistic first-person banter Cassie offered, and the occasionally text and email breaks, but the book kind of dragged for me. Maybe it would have been more enjoyable if it had changed to another character's perspective. I really liked Peter's opinion piece.