Sixteen-year-old Grace Kelly Cook is so ready to start college where she can ditch her geeky high school image and finally get away from her overbearing, overprotective, over the top mother. After graduating early and earning a free ride to her dream college, it seems like all of Grace Kelly’s dreams are coming true.
But starting fresh is going to take a lot more than some strategic online searches.
At the behest of her breezy, free spirit roommate, Grace Kelly agrees to rush the Alphas–the elite, friendly sorority that values academics more than good looks. It sounds like a match made in heaven and, much to her surprise, Grace Kelly finds that she’s prepared to do anything it takes to become an Alpha–even if it means telling a major lie and jeopardizing her other friendships.
On top of all that, Grace Kelly will have to complete the Alpha Bet–a secret set of alphabetical tasks–to prove her loyalty to the sisters and her dedication to the sorority. Between being a pledge, college classes, and navigating the murky waters of her first college crush Grace Kelly is in for quite a year in The Alpha Bet (2010) by Stephanie Hale.
The Alpha Bet is a cute book about a girl facing the triple threat of college life, growing up, and understanding her family. All at the same time. While she’s sixteen. That might sound like an unlikely scenario which, basically, sums up the overall feel of the book: improbable.
While Grace Kelly was an adorable heroine, a lot of her personality never felt real. Even the fact that she went by the name “Grace Kelly” seemed odd–why not Grace? Why not Kelly? Why is her nickname when she gets one GK? (The names in the book in general were over the top for reasons that remain unknown.)
The premise was interesting, but a lot of the actual Alpha Bet tasks were glossed over in favor of other aspects of the plot. It would have been fun to know more about all of the tasks, but it was not meant to be. The book also makes a big production of Grace Kelly’s being a science geek only to unceremoniously drop that thread by the end of the story.
While everyone loves a light read with a happy ending, The Alpha Bet was too saccharin and too simple; the “nice” characters were unerringly sweet and could do no wrong while the “bad” characters were awful. Although it was often overly simplified, Hale has created an interesting story that will pique the interest of any readers who find Greek life intriguing.
Possible Pairings: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, How To Steal a Car by Pete Hautman, Confessions of a Not It Girl by Melissa Kantor, Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter
Exclusive Bonus Content: I entered a sweepstakes on goodreads to win this book not thinking much about it. Much to my surprise, I received an email a few weeks later telling me I had won a copy of the book. It was a lot of fun to win it and receive it in the mail even it, to be fair, I really did not need another book. In the spirit of that moment, I am now giving away the signed copy I received. Visit my post about the giveaway to enter for your chance to win (if I haven’t already scared you off with my middling review).
Sound good? Find it on Amazon: The Alpha Bet