Gossip Girl book # 5 takes Blair and Serena to the snowy Sun Valley during the school winter break. Unbeknownst to the girls, Nate is also going to be at Sun Valley with current girlfriend and recovering drug addict, Georgina Sparks. Dan Humphrey is now a famous published poet in the New Yorker trying to make amends with his ex Vanessa and finding work as an assistant to one of the most pretentious editors of an elite poetry magazine. Jenny Humphrey is determined to figure out why her new boyfriend is so secretive about his family and his lifestyle. Chuck Bass? Well, he just gets in trouble anywhere he goes.
Book 5 is just as drama filled as the previous four, although at this point Blair seems to be a little bit more toned down. She has only two missions in life, to get into Yale and to lose her virginity, both of which she persues endlessly in each book, only to hit some type of roadblock along the way. After my complaints about Serena’s in the last book, she does have a somewhat strong character in I Like It Like That, but she still seems like a flimsy character, and nothing at all like her TV counterpart.
I have actually started watching the TV show, and so far, only the pilot and the second episode actually follows the book. The rest take on their own life and personality. Because they are so different, I enjoy each for their own sake. Its sort of funny how my boyfriend, who doesn’t watch the show with me, nor has he read any of my reviews, caught a snippet of the show last night and said “so, is this like Sex and the City for teens?” Hah! I love that. Its the first and most fitting description. This book does get really outrageous at times. Where are the parents?!? In this book we are finally introduced to Vanessa’s parents, but Serena’s parents are still in hiding, Blair’s mother is still lackadaisical and oblivious and Rufus Humphrey is well…father of the year in comparison. What is Cecily von Ziegesar trying to say? Are Dan and Jenny better off with their middle-class dad than their wealthier counterparts? I don’t know, if you’ve read the books, then you tell me. In my opinion, all these kids are a bit screwy.
Also, we are about 5 books into the series and have yet to see a significant role devoted to someone of color. The only two minority characters are Katy and Isabel and thus far they have played a pretty low-key and unmemorable roles, which is a sad message to send to kids of color reading this series. Only the white are rich and only the white-rich actually matter. Even in the TV show you see mostly white kids, except for the role of Vanessa. In the book she’s a white, gothic, rebel chick. In the TV, she’s still a rebel, but has a full head of fashionably styled hair and matching clothing attire. For the most part, I think teens are used to seeing only white actors on TV shows or in magazines. Its not a message that should be accepted. While Cecily addresses a class issue in her books, the race card is still left unturned.I Like it Like That (Gossip Girl #5) by Cecily von Ziegesar Little, Brown and Company, 2004 ISBN 0316735183 202 pages