Tag Archives: Gossip Girl

I Like It Like That – Review

***If you haven’t read Gossip Girl, You Know You Love Me , All I Want is Everything, and Because I’m Worth It, then this review will most likely be a spoilers for you, so please skid ahead!***

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

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You Know You Love Me – Review

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

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Gossip Girl – Review

By now, most of us have seen at least portions of the wonderfully teentastic TV show Gossip Girl. The series is based on the snippy Cecily Von Viegesar series Gossip Girl books of the same name. A few of the teen librarians I know really like this series, and I watch the show every once in a while, so i decided to pick up the book and see what all the hubbub was about.

Gossip Girl #1: A Novel (Gossip Girl Series) I was not disappointed. Von Ziegesar creates a fantastic and ugly view of New York from the view of the teen elite. Nothing is out of limits, and nothing is too outrageous. Booze, drugs and parties are a constant fact of life, and sex is as commonplace as a box of tissues on a coffee table.

The first book in the series starts with Serena van der Woodson returning to New York after having been kicked out of boarding school under suspicious reasons. Serena returns to a not-so-loving crowd. Outcast by her former friends, Serena tries to put the pieces of her life back together. Despite her wild-child reputation, Serena is seemingly bland in comparison to Blair Waldorf. Blair is a lot of fun, and I suspect will be the one to track as the series progresses. Blair is bitchy, bossy and knows what she wants. She’s also a hopeless romantic with big dreams and high hopes of losing her virginity to Nate and making Serena’s life miserable. Blair is the biggest obstacle in Serena’s life throughout the book, they girls share a strange love-hate relationship that is common with most best-friends. The competition over looks, wit, style, etc.

Von Ziegesar’s writing style is witty, sharp and is very much a Sex and the City for teens. In between series of chapters are Gossip Girl Blasts, posts on a fictional website summarizing the drama going on with the main cast of the book. This is our introduction to the series on the first page of the book.

Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live and go to school and play and sleep – sometimes with each other. We all live in huge apartments with our own bedrooms and bathrooms and phone lines. We have unlimited access to money and booze and whatever else we want, and our parents are rarely home, so we have tons of pricavy. We’re smart, we’ve inherited classic good looks, we wear fanstastic clothes, and we know how to party. Our shit still stinks, but you can’t smell it because the bathroom is sprayed hourly by the maid with a refreshing scent made exclusively for us by French perfumers.

The series is a fun ride. If you had as much of a boring high school experience as I did, then you’ll enjoy living vicariously through these can-do-no-wrong teens living the sweet life up in New York’s playground for the rich.Are these books appropriate for teens? That’s for parents to decide. The role models are sketchy, but then again, the smug and the sleazy are all glamorized in a cartoonish way in these novels. Von Ziegesar manages to glamorize and dehumanize the rich with her pen. You feel sad for these neglected teens while at the same time being envious of their freedoms and cash flow.

FINAL GRADE: A

Gossip Girl
by Cecily von Ziegesar
Little, Brown & Company, 2002
ISBN 0316910333
201 pages

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