Book two of the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar jumps in right where the first book left off. If you don’t remember where book one ended, I suggest stopping by a local library or bookstore and reading the final chapter before diving into this book, otherwise you’ll be a bit confused with where the story starts. Although Cecily does recap a little, it took a while for the first book’s ending to sink in to my memory. The second book is written as a continuation of the first, which I think is one reason why it made such a fantastic crossover into a TV series.
You Know You Love Me features all the same characters and provides more character development and growth. The first book merely introduced us to all the important characters in a glitzy, contemporary and fun way. The second book takes these characters and really shows us their true colors. You Know You Love Me further follows Serena van de Woodson’s attempts at recreating a social life for herself at a preppy New York private all-girl’s school after being snubbed out of the elite social group by her former best friend Blair Waldorf. In the sequal, Serena turns to the not so rich and fabulous duo of Dan and Jenny Humphrey for companionship. While Serena is reinventing herself as a novice film director and finding friendship in the places she would have least suspected, Blair is burdened with her mother’s impending marriage to her “gross” boyfriend Cyrus Rose. There is more salt in Blair’s wounds when Blair finds out that Serena has been asked to be one of the bridesmaids. Will this wedding reunite them in friendship, or will it just push them farther away?
That being said, the second book was not as good as the first, but only because Gossip Girl was a completely refreshing read. A third of the way into You Know You Love Me, and I am already familiar with the author’s quippy one-liners and seeminly accurate internal monologues of the horny teenage mind. The teens in the book are amazingly written, and I wonder just how much time Cecily von Ziegesar actually spends with New York elite teens to get material for her books. The characters are addicting, I love Blair’s multi layers of bitch and vulnerable, love-sick teenage girl. There is a love tug-of-war between Serena and Blair over Nate, and most girls know that fighting over a boy usually tends to end badly. I think this series is a great read for teens, they’ll be able to latch on to their favorite characters. While Cecily does glamorize the drugs and sex, she also makes a point of highlight these activities as folly’s not so much as condoned recreation.
FINAL GRADE: B+You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar Little, Brown and Co., 2002 ISBN 0316911488 227 pages