Sorority Girls With Guns ... Cat Caruthers

Phyl Campbell By Phyl Campbell, 25th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3twf9r9r/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Chick Lit

Cat Caruthers debut novel is not your average Chick Lit novel. It is smarter, wittier, and a little more hard-hitting than typical works of the genre. Witty one-liners throughout keep the tone light despite the smart and somber revelations of the main character.

Area Author

Cat Caruthers is, as it happens, a member of my writing group. We live locally to each other, but still haven't met in person. This hasn't stopped us from sharing ideas and critiques via FB and email. I wish her a lot of success, because this book exhibits sharp writing and her unique voice.

Story Summary

You've heard the story about the rags to riches college girl who doesn't quite fit in but finds happiness within herself and gets the guy, right? Well, Sorority Girls With Guns is not that story.

The fact is, Shade only considers herself moderately successful when it comes to money. That's important because, to her, money is, in fact, everything.

Shade lives a rich life. She had two friends that she almost trusts. Nothing against them and their trust funds -- currently being cut off by Mommy and Daddy Deep Pockets -- Shade doesn't trust anybody. In Shade's world, people fall into two categories -- assets and liabilities. Rather like stocks, real estate, and other market elements that go up and down, up and down, Shade tries to ride the mechanical bull market of success. She hopes to accomplish this by posting a viral video on GluedtoYou or at least using it to get an internship at Green Day (yeah, we get it) environmental agency. She has it all mapped out -- highways, back-roads, u-turns, and former dead ends.

However, one of her not-so-very-best-friends has figured out Shade's secret, and the truth could land Shade in the dirt faster than an unlucky cowboy on a Saturday night at the rodeo. After all, this IS Texas. And there are some things even the smartest girl in the school can't see coming.

This plot had an expected road map that was very well established from the beginning -- Shade is a rich girl who wants success and riches on her own terms. She sees others around her who have less intelligence and work ethic, but more connections and more money -- this pisses her off. Across the aisle is Richard -- a modestly-endowed scholarship student who appears to hate money and rich people, but has a thing for Shade -- even though she won't see it. A bet initiated by Shade and Richard is supposed to allow their friends to see how the other half lives: the rich are supposed to live "poor," and the "poor" is supposed to live "rich." For a month. On camera -- with live feed to GluedtoYou. Let the games begin.

Story Strengths

Cat Caruthers' foray into the chick-lit world is a bold and daring one. The guy doesn't get the girl automatically. The girl struggles, but does not get everything she thinks she wants: no matter how much she lies, "borrows," or dumpster dives. The despair of the main character's voice is so strong -- -- I can hear in her the struggle I've heard from many recent college grads, current college students -- even self-published authors. Shade's lament has been my lament, too. Everyone wants to make it. It doesn't have to be HUGE, but make it. For every success story, there are hundreds and thousands of failures. Shade views herself as one of those failures. It doesn't matter that she is smarter than her competition, or that she is handicapped beyond her control. There is still a part of her that believes that hard work, dedication, and sacrifice will pay off. That hope, that unjustifiable,survive-against-all-the-odds hope, is normally what we see played out in novels of this genre:

In Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger), the main character betrays everyone, even cheating on her boyfriend, but after she realizes what a mistake she's made, she quits her job and her evil boss gives her a glowing recommendation for a new and better one.

In the Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella AKA Madeleine Wickham) series, the fashionista does everything wrong trying to secure the perfect job, but when it is offered to her and she turns it down, she sells her fashionable wardrobe, makes up with her best friend (eventually), and snares the man of her dreams.

Caruthers' tale has more in common with the Nanny Diaries (Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus), Assistants (Robin L Williams), the Divergent series (Veronica Roth) or even the Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins). In order for the plucky, not-so-perfect heroine to win, she must be willing to sacrifice everything. Even total sacrifice may not be enough, which is where Caruthers deviates from typical chick lit novels. One does not have to imagine an alternate universe where an all-controlling government allows wicked self-serving forces to rise higher and higher above the rest of the world. It's not a far stretch into the future at all to see plebeians subsist just to keep from starving. For too many college students and graduates, this book is the harsh reality they've known but hoped against for years. This is a novel whose time has come. May the odds be ever in its favor.

Learn More About Your Next Read

Writing book reviews does more than just pass the time. It helps other readers discover new talent -- especially books that don't appear on national bestseller lists. Be sure and check out my reviews of my talented writing friends:

Jenn McClory: Jump, Fall and When The Lights Go Up
JM Kelley: Almost Magic
Charity Bradford The Magic Wakes
Kymberley Cook Her Blood's Warning

Write your own reviews, poetry, or articles for Wikinut

Tags

Beach, Bet, Cat Cauthers, Chick Lit, College, Dare, Poverty, Rags-To-Riches, Romance, Sorority Girls With Guns, Vacation

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Phyl, nicely done. I like the comparison/contrast with other books. As you point out, this is not the typical and then give us alternatives that might be. Great way to promote another author as well. Good job. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks!

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author avatar joyalariwo
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Hello Phyl nice review! Epecially enjoyed the part where you compared it with the other books, will look out for it.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks!

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author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

What a great review Phyl, you really brought me into the plot and I must admit it sounds like a great story!
Excellent write up my friend! \0/x

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Feb 2014 (#)


yes indeed Phyl a great review...sharing...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Sounds like a fun book. It's encouraging that this book doesn't fall into the same old plot lines (boy gets girl, etc.) but strikes out into a direct direction.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks everyone! I'm glad my review was intriguing. Her book really spoke to me -- if you couldn't tell!

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author avatar Kingwell
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Nicely done my friend.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice review!

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author avatar Bangkit Tensai
26th Feb 2014 (#)

good phyl.
interesting post

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
27th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks everyone!

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author avatar Retired
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Nice review, Phyl. Sounds like a story well worth reading.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks, Mike!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
9th Mar 2014 (#)

Like everyone is different, every book should be ditto with twists and turns to keep us hooked till the end. Nice review Phyl, thanks - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
10th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks, Siva!

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
10th Mar 2014 (#)

A good review. I'll look for this book.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
10th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks, GV. I hope you'll like it as much as I did.

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