Sorority Sisters is an eight title novel series that was written by Marjorie W. Sharmat between 1986 and 1987. They were published by Laurel Leaf Press. This series focused on two very different sororities in a fictitious high school in Arizona. In contrast to most teen romance series, (which were common and quite prolific at that time) this series was written with kind of a sense of humor.
At Palm Canyon High School located in fictitious Palm Canyon, Arizona, most girls aspired to be members of Chi Kappa, the most prestigious sorority at the school. One of their many rules was that they kept membership strictly at ten members.
A girl named Elissa Hanes wanted to join, as did her friend Kim Adler. Kim was accepted along with a newcomer, and Elissa wasn't accepted. However, Kim eventually got disgusted with the sorority's scheming tactics, and quit the group in public.
Elissa and Kim eventually create their own sorority called The Pack, which allowed any girl who wanted to join, and the 10 member number, which Chi Kappa used so often to be their limit would just legitimize the Pack and make them a solid group. Another former Chi Kappa member, Tracy McVane, a friend of Elissa's, joined the Pack herself, after being burned by Chi Kappa's less than ethical behavior.
Although they never reached 10, their core group was just as solid. The officers were de facto until the next year.
Many of the stories (which covered two books, and there were eight in all) focused on the lives of the students and the rivalry between the two sororites; the established Chi Kappa vs. the Up-and-coming Pack. The characters narrated the stories. The most narrators came from the Pack (they had five to Chi Kappa's three).
As was unusual for a romance book series, it was written with a defined sense of humor, especially through Elissa Hanes, who would give off horrid but funny puns.
Narrators for and titles of the storyies were:
- Book 1: For Members Only. Kim Adler (Co-founder of the Pack who, in anger, quit Chi Kappa in public)
- Book 2: Snobs Beware. Elissa Haines (Kim's best friend, and co-founder of the Pack.)
- Book 3: I Think I'm Falling in Love. Tracy McVane (Newspaper editor who quit Chi Kappa in disgust and joined the Pack.)
- Book 4: Fighting Over Me. Fritzi Tass (A loyal Pack member, who becomes Tracy's best friend.)
- Book 5: Nobody knows How Scared I am. Daisy Baron (The nicer half of twins who are in Chi Kappa)
- Book 6: Here Comes Mr. Right. Melanie Deborah Kane (Chi Kappa's resident Survivor, who is nice.)
- Book 7: Getting Closer. Bridget Jawinski (A member of the Pack who is in Palm Canyon's Senior class.)
- Book 8: I'm Going to Get Your Boyfriend. Rona Dunne (Chi Kappa's remote, but not nasty president.)
Palm Canyon was supposedly located somewhere around Tucson, because some of the characters could and did import dates from that area; they also imported dates from the Phoenix area.
- Kim Adler A newcomer to Palm Canyon, from New York City; who joined Chi Kappa; only to become so disgusted with the conniving of their less-than-ethical members that she quit the sorority in public during their Thanksgiving dance. She is best friends with Elissa Haines, and Brett Fox is her boyfriend. She and Elissa co-found the Pack (of which Kim is Vice President). Her father is an advertising writer.
- Elissa Haines A Palm Canyon native, and one of the most intelligent girls in the school. She and Kim meet on the first day of school and click immediately. She is not voted into Chi Kappa, although Kim and Tracy McVane voted for her, because of her braininess. She and Kim co-found the Pack, and bring some democracy to the Palm Canyon High sorority scene, much to Chi Kappa's discomfort. She is the de facto (that is to say, temporary) president of the Pack, and is presumed that she retained the job the next School year. She also has a tendency to make a lot of horrible puns which defines her sense of humor. Eric Day is her boyfriend, and her divorced mother begins to see her sorority sister, Bridget Jawinski's, father. Her hardly ever seen father married their former live-in cook (whom she derisively called the culinary wonder), and has her younger brother Garth, living with him, in Northern Arizona.
- Rona Dunne Chi Kappa's somewhat standoffish president. Although she is not as conniving as most of her sorority sisters, she has very high standards. She likes (and actually admires) Elissa, but she felt that she wouldn't measure up to Chi Kappa's standards. However, at the end of the series, she and Elissa part amicably after discovering that her conniving sorority sister, Selena Vonder, blackmailed her into allowing her to join Chi Kappa. This strained and most certainly ended the girls' friendship. (Upon discovering that Selena had blackmailed her, she wrathfully called her a wretched; foul-mouthed; fuchsia fingernailed... it was never revealed what creature Rona was going to call her) She dated Mitch Brenner.
- Selena Vonder One of Chi Kappa's less than honorable members. She is a screechy and somewhat conniving girl, who only got into Chi Kappa because she blackmailed one of their members. (It was discovered that it was Rona herself who had been blackmailed, and that ultimately ended their friendship) She is vainly proud of her fuchsia fingernails; her highly screechy voice; and is derisively called "Sleazena" by people who don't like her (which was about almost everyone in Palm Canyon High, but mostly by Elissa.) Upon her graduation, she went to New York, where her former friend, Rona, predicted that she would have an excruciatingly uphill battle!
- Allie Grendler Chi Kappa's so-called "conscience", despite her being one of the wealthiest members of the Palm Canyon community. She claims she is aware of the less-fortunate, but her actions weren't always commensurate with her words. During a Thanksgiving dance, she bragged about a hefty sum for charity, which angers Elissa who then demanded proof. Allie coldly tells Elissa that since she is not a sorority member, the information is none of her business and, to add insult to injury, calls her an outsider, angering not just Elissa, but the whole school in general. Standing up for her friend, Kim angrily called her bluff and demanded to know the amount, since she was a member of the sorority, and when Allie uttered How Dare you!, Kim bravely quit the sorority in public.
- Tracy McVane The school's newspaper editor (the newspaper she is in charge of is called The Cactus Chronicle or simply, The Chron), who also votes for Elissa to join Chi Kappa, because she felt that Elissa could give her some company in the brain department. She is known for her unbelievable hair coloring; and her unique style of dress; due to a legal agreement she made with her parents. Tracy becomes the second member of Chi Kappa to quit the sorority due to their sleazy tactics. She leaves because of Carrie Reis taking her legal agreement idea, and plagiarizing it to a subject about her lavender car. Her main reason for leaving was that Chi Kappa had chosen to stand behind Carrie and her treachery; and Tracy felt betrayed by her so-called "sorority sisters". After she resigned from Chi Kappa (according to them, she bolted the sorority) she joins the Pack and she becomes friends with Fritzi Tass, because their mothers, Epsy and Joanna, are friends too. This also allowed her and Elissa, who were already good friends, to become closer. Her boyfriend is named Peter Zee, a basketball player from the other high school in town, Wilmot High.
- Tulip and Daisy Baron Identical twins who are in Chi Kappa. Daisy is sweet natured; compassionate and less likely to deal with her looks than her more mercenary and shallower sister. Daisy (and Tulip also) claimed that their parents wanted a flower garden but got twins instead. She, along with Melanie Deborah Kane and Tracy McVane, are the three nicer members of Chi Kappa, until Tracy left Chi Kappa to join the Pack. According to Daisy, she got into the sorority, mainly because of Tulip. Daisy, unlike Selena, Allie, Carrie and Crystal, has a kind heart, and warns Fritzi Tass not to join Chi Kappa, since the invite was done out of sheer maliciousness. Her catchphrase, which she often uses, is "Think Slowly."
- Fritzi Tass A somewhat disorganized; semi-ditzy, but very lovable girl, who is a member of the Pack. She is also the sorority's treasurer and the first member aside from Kim and Elissa to join. She and Tracy McVane become friends when Tracy joins the Pack (since their mothers are best friends). Her mother, who owns a real estate agency along with her husband, some would say unhelpfully, does most of her homework. The Chi Kappas attempt to woo Fritzi away from the PACK after she wins homecoming queen, using the same democratic system that the Pack stands for, and was spearheaded by Tracy. She has a loyal boyfriend named Seth Berns, although she dated Mitch Brenner, Rona's boyfriend for a time. However, despite Chi Kappa's conniving, Fritzi remained a loyal Pack member, and outright told off the other Chi Kappas.
- Bridget Jawinski and Marlene Garcia Two members of the Pack who are members of Palm Canyon High's senior class. They eventually join the Pack after some initial hesitation. Bridget's somewhat boyfriend is a guy named Crocker Grange, whom she admires. Bridget's divorced father begins to date Elissa's divorced mother, and when the series ends, they are beginning to become a family.
- Carrie Reis A cheerleader who is also a member of Chi Kappa. Carrie is also one of the more nastier members of the sorority. She angers Tracy McVane and forces her to leave Chi Kappa after she plagiarizes Tracy's legal agreement with her parents to deal with her lavender car. She was also known for her nose which had been redone by an eminent plastic surgeon named Dr. Bruckstein.
- Crystal Jameson A predatory boy stealer, who is also new to Palm Canyon. She joins Chi Kappa at the same time as Kim, and is accepted over Elissa. She attempts to steal Brett Fox, from Kim, but ultimately fails.
- Stephanie Ortiz, Deena Fox and Holly Wood Three freshmen who are members of the Pack, they join up when the Pack was first organized. Deena is the younger sister of Kim Adler's boyfriend, Brett, and Stephanie is the Sorority's secretary.
- Fiona Kasselman A freshman who became a member of Chi Kappa after Kim Adler quit. She was considered to be a jerk, in Tracy McVane's opinion and thereby, fit well into the Chi Kappa ranks.
- Melanie Deborah Kane Chi Kappa's resident survivor, who, despite their less-than honorable members, stays in Chi Kappa, to show that there are nice people in the sorority. Like Daisy Baron, she likes the Pack members, and are friendly to them.