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Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore
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» See also 4 mentions

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Decided to take a break from some of the reading I've been doing for work and book clubs and this was the perfect book to do it with. I'm definitely a Maggie Quinn fan and Clement-Moore's sense of humor is right up my alley. I have to say though my sorority rush experience was nothing like what was depicted in the book (demons and such aside of course). I definitely recommend this for anyone who likes a bit of a lighter side with their paranormal happenings. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
While the main conflict of this installment does lift…well, everything from clichéd B movie plot (Sorority girls from Hell!), Clement-Moore still manages to make the second book in the Maggie Quinn series entertaining and funny.

To begin with, tangent: Quite obviously, the majority of YA books deal with the fact that high school is pretty much every single teenager/young adult’s life. What grinds my nerves, however, are the ones that treat high school as the end-all, be-all. Does high school suck? Good God, yes. But there’s this fantastic thing after high school (should the kids choose this route): college. Unfortunately, there’s a good chunk of YA that doesn’t really acknowledge this magical place. So, I tend to like books that go for a bit more young adult and deal with the early college years (because, let’s face it, a lot of the high school drama still happens in post-secondary education, but there’s a whole new game to play there).

So, getting into this made me smile, because I could relate with Maggie about starting over in college. Sure, she doesn’t exactly get all of the dorm drama, but everything else—the new social schedule, the class load, getting knocked down by professors because you don’t have the credits yet—it brings a new level to the atypical YA book. I also liked watching Maggie going through Rush; again, it’s something that feels actually realistic (sorority girls from Hell aside), and the stress of Rush plus classwork plus demon-slaying manages to play a role in the plot.

Unfortunately, much like the last book, there really isn’t all that much to the villains. Victoria and Juliana are pretty much the Real Housewives of the Ninth Circle, who ensnare naïve pledges to further their own wealth and power. (It’s actually described as a demonic pyramid scheme, but seeing as how they’re at the top, yeah, it’s their show.) There’s no real depth or explanation for their actions, aside from being blonde and perfect and being bitchy.

Generally, I liked the current members and pledges of SAXi. Devon’s probably my favorite, as she’s the most willing to mentor Maggie. Also, the death of her boyfriend made me really feel for her; out of all of the girls, she’s the most sympathetic. I liked Holly, although I didn’t grab onto her story and history with her mother. She’s snarky and plays off of Maggie well, but there should have been more to her character. My big frustration with the SAXi girls is that, by book’s end, almost every single one of these new friends leaves Bedivere U. If there’s anything good about a college experience is meeting new people and making connections with them. The fact that all of these girls, who just had their souls saved by Maggie, got unceremoniously dropped at the end of the book irked me; is it a problem for her to have another friend aside from Lisa and Justin?

Aside from that, I liked how Maggie approached the idea of doing Rush and how it effects her Seer powers. It’s interesting that when she mentions that she had visions of Greek letters, Maggie tries to get something positive out of her visions. Her first thought isn’t completely “Crap, have to go defend the world from evil,” but rather, very reporter-like, “Well, we’ll check it out, and maybe I can get a column out of this.”

While Lisa doesn’t show up until the end of the book, she suddenly gets another depth to her characterization. I’m still not a fan of how her sexual assault was handled, and while it’s nice to see her try to redeem herself after summoning a demon, it does bother me that the issue at hand is pushed aside. I would have at least liked a hint of Lisa’s progress with dealing from that aftermath, not just “I summoned a demon, I’ve got a reserve seat in the handbasket to Hell.” I wanted to know a lot more about this in general.

In the last review, I mentioned that Maggie’s relationship with her family also felt natural. It really feels like she’s closer to her dad, and how he’s willing to help out with her more intriguing questions. It also helps that he does get worried whenever she entangles herself in one of these Evil-busting schemes. Maggie’s mom got a little more development in this book; again, she cares and worries about her daughter, even if she’s not completely in the loop. I do have a nitpick about her mother being all upset that Maggie doesn’t have a boyfriend and isn’t interested in girly things and that means she’s not normal. I think we’re a little beyond that. And I generally like Gran, but there’s really not much more to her than being the mentor figure. She’s a fun adult figure, but with not much substance.

Despite my issues, I still really enjoy this volume. It’s a fun read, while putting Maggie in a new element that actually does affect her powers (demonic or not). Aside from the fact that there’s no real cast expansion (which would have been a fantastic edition), I loved reading this book and really wanted to know what happened next.
( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
Clement-Moore, R. (2008). Hell Week. New York: Delacorte Press.

327 pages.

Appetizer: Maggie Quinn is back. After surviving prom and the rest of her senior year of high school, she is now a freshman at the local college and trying to find a way to get her articles in the local and college papers.

Maggie is also uncertain of what's going on between her and Justin. He went off on an internship to Ireland for the summer and apparently he's been back in the country for a week, but hasn't called her. (WTF, Justin?! If I didn't already think you were way too old for Maggie I might be upset.)

Maggie has her eye on doing an expose on the college's sororities. As she goes undercover, she has to face the reality that she may be in over her head, especially when one of the sororities seems to have some supernatural tendencies. Looks like Maggie may have to take on evil once again.

As with the first book--Prom Dates from Hell--I'm left feeling pretty lukewarm toward this series. Maggie has a lot of great sarcastic lines that I love, but a lot of the story itself feels as though it is a mushed together hybrid of Veronica Mars and Buffy. (Specifically a mash-up between the Buffy episode Reptile Boy and the Veronica Mars episode My Big Fat Greek Rush Week.)

Plus, there were a lot of names in this books. And almost all of them belonged to sorority girls. I could not keep the characters straight. And the narration didn't always give me little clues to remind me of who was who. Kaylee, Tara, Alexa, Devon, Victoria, Kirby, Juliana, Holly, Jenna, Brittany, Ashley! AAAAAH! So many cute sorority-girl names. (And while I'll admit, I'm horrible with names in real life, usually I can hold my own in literature.)

Also, this time around, the tension and danger took a very long time to emerge...and there wasn't really a wonderful monster to describe, like in the first book. So, again, I felt lukewarm.

On the plus side, I now feel like I have a better understanding of the Greek system.

I will plan to read the third book, Highway to Hell at some point. For the time being I have to look at some other books that may have a place in my dissertation.

Dinner Conversation:

"Bright teeth flashed; I fought the instinct to recoil. Perfectly white, perfectly even, possibly once human. Coral pink lips pulled back all the way to the gums, giving the smile an unfortunate equine quality. "Soooo...?" The owner of the teeth and lips drew out the word and flipped it up at the end in a question. "What's your major?"
"English." An untruth. I don't tell them, as a rule, but I'd been asked this question five times in the last hour, and the lie rolled off my tongue now with ease" (p. 1).

"'You're not really going through with this, are you?'
I glared..."I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, come on."
..."I'm working on something."
"In a sorority." Not a question. Just incredulous.
"Don't think I can pull it off?" I asked, slinging my satchel over my shoulder.
"I know you can. That's what worries me." He tapped the page. "It says right here: 'Resistance is futile.' These things--historically, sociologically--they suck people in."
"It's a sorority, not a cult, Justin. I'll be fine."
I swung out the door, already regretting the words. When would I learn not to tempt fate?" (p. 87-88).

""Have you considered that there may be some greater power at work here? You joke about Faustian bargains, but maybe that's not a coincidental analogy."
"Sorority girls from Hell? Isn't that like saying French people from France?"
"I'm serious, Maggie." (p. 171) ( )
  SJKessel | May 28, 2012 |
I always knew sororities were Evil and this book proves it. Maggie finds herself going undercover to write a story on sororities and their rush practices. Soon, she finds herself rushing the sorority with the biggest secret. Great follow up book to Prom Dates From Hell. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book about Maggie and her supernatural adventures. ( )
  LeleliaSky | Feb 24, 2012 |
Unlike Prom Dates From Hell Maggie doesn’t do the whole constant investigation – which makes sense when you read it – but I still wish she had snapped out of it sooner. I did like, however, that in place of mystery was a book full of wit and humor.... Please read the full revew here. ( )
  tipsyreader | May 4, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038573414X, Hardcover)

MAGGIE QUINN IS determined to make her mark as a journalist. The only problem? The Ranger Report does not take freshmen on staff.

Rules are rules. But when has that ever stopped Maggie?

After facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. It’s no Woodward and Bernstein, but going undercover as the Phantom Pledge will allow her to write her exposé. Then she can make a stealth exit before initiation. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.

If there is such a thing as a sorority from hell, you can bet that Maggie Quinn will be the one to stumble into it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

While working undercover on a series of stories for her campus newspaper, college freshman Maggie reluctantly endures mixers, rites, and peculiar rules, but soon learns that members of the sorority to which she has pledged have strange powers and a terrible secret.… (more)

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