Alexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women's college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn't writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.
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Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
My 3 favorite books about Secret Societies!
One evening, when I as an undergrad, I was in the library looking through the campus newspaper archives. I was sitting at the foot of the stacks, next to these massive windows that opened to swaying pine trees. I can’t even remember what I was looking for in the 1930s issues, but I’m certain that what I found was better. There, shadows from the outside trees running over it, a blurry black and white photo of girls dressed in white with the headline Midnight Lake Ritual waited for me. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on secret societies. The intrigue, cloak and dagger practices, mysterious rituals, and complex and dangerous initiations, intoxicate me, and I’ve also always wanted to write a book about them.
But you see, I’m most inspired and interested in those secret societies that challenge the patriarchy and the existing power structure. Not the master-of-the-universe societies like Skull and Bones, which just connect privileged boys with more privileged boys. Give me a secret society, girl-only membership, that meets lakeside under the full moon to tuck secrets on paper boats they sail out and light on fire. I love the idea of secret societies being like mini revolutions and conduits for a more just world. I love the idea of bonds forged between friends over shared secrets.
The four main characters of my upcoming YA thriller First We Were IV – Izzie, Viv, Graham, and Harry – set out to invent a secret society during their senior year of high school. Their goal: get bonded for life, pull pranks, and have an adventure. The reality: they start a rebellion.
While you wait for First We Were IV, out July 25th from Simon & Schuster BFYR, get in the mood by reading one of my favorite YA-ish books about secret societies.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart: Set in a posh private school, Frankie Landau-Banks, isn’t the kind of girl to take no for an answer, especially when she’s being excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Frankie sets out to challenge their sexiest group by beating them at their own game of pranks. Pair feminism with secret societies and E. Lockhart’s writing and you’ve got me. Every. Damn. Time.
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: What’s better than a secret society of assassins? A secret society of butt-kicking assassin nuns in a bewitching fantasy, that’s what. The seventeen-year-old protagonist becomes the handmaiden of death after escaping to a convent from an arranged marriage. It’s a bit light on fantasy elements but more than makes up for it with romance, political intrigue, and a secret society that takes lives.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt: And here’s the YA-ish. So, The Secret History is adult literary fiction. The plot centers around a group of college undergrads struggling with coming of age and wanting to belong. Hence, YA-ish. The coterie at the center of this book doesn’t have a name for their secret society but they’ve got rules, like don’t tell the police what happened to the dead boy at the bottom of the cliff. The Secret History is about college students who get carried away (understatement of the century) with ancient Greek history and mythology and try to blur the lines of reality to experience the ritual ecstasy (kind of like a trance-like state where anything can happen) they study. It’s a murder-mystery and engrossing tale of secrets, friendship, betrayal, romance, and sacrifice.
I’d love to hear what book with secret societies you love! Tweet them at me @AlexandraSirowy.
First We Were IV
By: Alexandra Sirowy
Publishing Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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March 27: Brittany's Book Rambles - Intro Post + Excerpt
March 28: YA and Wine - Most Mischievous YA Characters
March 29: Rattle the Pages - Nail Art
March 30: Book Nerd Addict - Inventing A Secret Society
March 31: Fables Library - YA Books with Secret Societies
April 3: Emily Reads Everything - Fancast
April 4: The Eater of Books - History of Secret Societies
April 5: It Starts At Midnight - Author Guest Post: FIRST WE WERE IV vs. Alexandra's Previous Books
April 6: BookCatPin - Mystery YA List
April 7: A Book and a Cup of Coffee - Moodboard
April 10: The Book Buzz - YA Thrillers You Need to Know About
April 11: The Candid Cover - Bookworm Initiation Quiz
April 12: Girl in the Pages - Book Recs for First We Were IV Characters
April 13: Stories and Sweeties - Author Guest Post - Story Behind the Title
April 14: Little Lillie Reads - Playlist
April 17: Literary Legionnaire - Favorite Quotes
April 18: Chapter by Chapter - Author Guest Post: Secret Society Initiation Rituals
April 19: Tales of the Ravenous Reader - Secret Societies You Never Knew Existed
April 20: YA Book Central - Author Guest Post: 3 Favorite Books About Secret Societies
April 21: The Bookish Feels - Author's March Favorites
April 24: Waiting For Wentworth - Author Guest Post: Secret Society Rules
April 25: The Reader and the Chef - Book Inspired-Recipe
April 26: Forever Lost in Literature - Author Guest Post: What We Do For Friendship
April 27: Flying Through Fiction - Favorite YA Friendships
April 28: One Way or an Author - Phone Wallpapers
All content directly from First We Were IV (such as quotes and excerpts) is taken directly from an advanced reader's copy of the book. Therefore, it is not to be separately quoted from due to the fact that it is not in its final publication form.