They’re frat boys. She knows exactly what to expect once she gets there. Exposing them should be a piece of cake.
But the boys of Delta Tau Chi have their own agenda, and fellow pledge Jordan Louis is certainly more than the tank top wearing “bro” Cassie expected to find. With her heart and her future tangled in the web of her own making, Cassie is forced to realize that the F-word might not be as simple as she thought after all.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Frat Girl came out earlier this year and I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it or not. On one hand, I love that it’s a feminist YA novel set in university, when a lot of YA books seem to only deal with high school. On the other hand, it felt like it was going to be a predictable book with douche frat boys and the feminist girl there to save them. But I was pleasantly surprised with how the book deals with different perceptions and ended up really enjoying it.
Challenges and Discusses Different Forms of Feminism
As a proud feminist, I thought it was great that Roache acknowledges a lot of different interpretations (and misunderstandings) of what feminism means, as well as the different perspectives people have about what Cassie is doing. The arguments and support of different characters as Cassie pledges this well-known misogynistic fraternity was really well done! Cassie also acknowledges some of the hypocrisies that she encourages (that all sorority girls as airheads) while also trying to educate these frat boys on common misconceptions (like not knowing anything about a woman’s period until she hosts a seminar for them). Feminism is a heavy subject and Roache does a good job of trying to show a lot of different perspectives on what feminism means to different people (the professor and Alex getting into a debate in class about sexuality was excellent!), how it’s talked about, and the ongoing challenge to achieve equality. This book isn’t about answers, but I really liked the questions it poses and how information is given in a really appealing platform.
Strong Contemporary Protagonist
There are a lot of great contemporary YA characters that I love, but they often tend to be more introverted, artistic, or more content to observe the world then take part in it. In this case, Cassie is strong, outspoken, and proud of being a feminist, which I really enjoyed. She’s not abrasive, but simply plays different roles in different situations and isn’t ashamed of her beliefs. We also see Cassie’s vulnerability come out throughout the novel, which really humanizes her. Her crisis of conscience about her project and her crush on Jordan are nice additions because they remind us that she’s still a teenager in her freshman year of college. I liked the characters in this book and was really impressed with Cassie.
This book could have become one long feminist lecture really quickly had Roache not found some creative ways to break up the storytelling. I loved that Cassie writes about her findings in journal articles; it’s an opportunity for her to be incredibly articulate and provide academic information about what is happening in the world around her. This is offset by text conversations that are written in slang and by the different conversations that Cassie has with other characters. From her more hypothetical conversations with Alex to her witty banter with Duncan, Bambi, or Jordan, we are given different ways to understand fraternity and college life and (hopefully) learn more about why we should all be feminists.
This was a fun book to read and as someone who lives in Canada where we don’t really have the Greek system, I liked getting a look for what it’s like. All of these characters have flaws, but that’s what makes them human and makes this a more realistic novel. Congratulation to Roache on her first novel (!) and I can’t wait to see what she gives us next.
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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