Review: Frat Girl by Kiley Roache

Title: Frat Girl
Author: Kiley Roache
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Published March 2018

Summary: For Cassandra Davis, the F-word is fraternity—specifically Delta Tau Chi, a house on probation and on the verge of being banned from campus. Accused of offensive, sexist behavior, they have one year to clean up their act. For the DTC brothers, the F-word is feminist—the type of person who writes articles in the school paper about why they should lose their home. With one shot at a scholarship to attend the university of her dreams, Cassie pitches a research project: to pledge Delta Tau Chi and provide proof of their misogynistic behavior. 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.

I first heard about this book while I was sorting through upcoming March releases at my internship, and it immediately caught my attention. For starters, I don't come across many YA books that are set in college, so it immediately hooked me -- as a college student myself, I love reading books that are set in an environment that I'm currently experiencing! Not to mention the fact that this book tackles a lot of important topics that really need to be talked about -- which is something I'll explain further in a second! It was also really inspiring to see that this book was written by somebody around my age, because it gave me hope that my stories are worth telling, too -- seeing Kiley make it as a published author while also juggling college life means it's totally possible, and that's some motivation that I really, really needed. :-)

As the summary explains, Cassie's dream is to attend Warren University, a prestigious school that she sees as her ticket out of her small-minded, super-traditional Indiana town -- the kind of town where she's expected to graduate high school, go to a community college, get married, and have lots of kids. Which is exactly what Cassie doesn't want -- so she applies for a research grant that will pay for her four years of schooling if they like her project. Her project, as a Gender and Sexuality major, is to go undercover in Warren's most notoriously sexist and bigoted fraternity...and pledge. And once she's in, she'll report on all of the things that are happening, and she'll take them down from the inside.

The problem? Once Cassie starts this project, she starts to realize that things are a lot more complicated than she originally intended. She made some friends, found some crushes, and even started to see a bright side to her frat brothers...all while living a lie and gearing up to take them down.

So...yeah. A little complicated, to say the least!

I really, really enjoyed reading this book! It was so cute while also being really funny and serious at the same time. (Looking back on that sentence, it definitely didn't make any sense...oops.) What I'm trying to say is that this book contains a lot of different elements that make it a cute, adorable contemporary novel while also bringing some pretty serious subjects to light. I flew through this book because I just couldn't put it down and I kept flipping the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen next! Cassie's character was also super funny and relatable at times, which made it even easier to fall into the story and let myself stay sucked in.

Another thing that's really great about this book is how it truly paints the picture of things not necessarily being so "cut and dry." Cassie goes into the frat house assuming the worst of every guy she meets, and while there are a handful that definitely fit that mold, there are even more that she comes to learn are not like that at all -- and some that may act that way, but it's purely out of ignorance and, after being educated on the matter, were more than eager to change. There were a lot of characters in this book that started off rubbing me the wrong way, but as the story progressed, you were able to see how a lot of them changed, or how some of them were not what Cassie thought all along -- but it took her actually immersing herself in the fraternity experience to realize that.

I also really loved Jordan's character. He was super sweet and adorable, and there are certain scenes (which I won't spoil for you -- read the book!) that had me gripping the book super tight and sighing out loud because he was so adorable and even really sexy. Him and Cassie were definitely my favorite characters in the book!

The only thing that I wasn't super crazy about with this book was the fact that the timeline seemed to pass a little too quickly at times, and it left me feeling confused. The beginning of the book really seemed like it skipped some pretty significant scenes -- for example, we have Cassie deciding to plan the undercover experiment, and then it immediately jumps to her first day at college. It glosses over the acceptance, what happens when she tells everyone, etc. -- all big things that are important to the core of the narrative. But other than those little time jumps, the holes still do get filled in -- in my opinion, it maybe would've just been nice to experience them firsthand as a reader rather than learning about them after.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Frat Girl. It was a funny, interesting, and super adorable story while also tackling a lot of really important issues and how multi-faceted these issues can be -- how everything isn't necessarily so black-and-white. This book managed to open my eyes about a lot of things while also having moments of cute romance, funny quips, and even some *~steamy~* things to keep stuff interesting!

If you're looking for a new contemporary read to add to your bookshelf, I definitely recommend Frat Girl. You won't be sorry! 

Hats off to Kiley Roache -- I'll definitely be reading more books by her in the future!

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