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Book review: Gossip girl : a novel

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: project, reading, review | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »



As I’m a Children’s and Youth librarian, I’m also reading Gossip Girl for reader advisory. Seriously, I am!

Book: Gossip girl : a novel by Cecily von Ziegesar
Publication date: 2002
Pages: 201
Publisher: Poppy
ISBN: 9780316910330

Rating: 3/5

Why did you include it in your Book Bucket List?
(Please see this post about the Book Bucket List challenge.)
Essentially because I’m a sucker for pop culture. I love watching America’s/Australia’s/New Zealand’s Next Top Model, Neighbours & similar schlock! I like the escapist, trashy, faux drama of it all. Regarding Gossip Girl, I’m keen to read the books before I watch the tv series. Such is my restraint that linking to the site was the first time I’d visited because I don’t want to spoil anything! There’s also an official book site which I haven’t looked at to avoid spoilers. I totally enjoyed It had to be you : the Gossip Girl prequel, so I’m keen to read the series if the quality keeps up. Which may/will be an issue, especially given the author hands over the glitter pen to a ghost writer for books 9, 10 & 11. As I’m a Children’s and Youth librarian, I’m also reading Gossip Girl for reader advisory. Seriously, I am! Also, my most excellent wife J. gave it to me for our first Wedding Anniversary as the tradition is paper. Everybody: “Ohhhhh!”

Was it worth it? Yes.

Brief Thoughts?

I liked it, although not as much as the prequel. (FYI – you don’t need to read the prequel to follow this book, especially as the prequel was written after this!) For the uninitiated, Gossip Girl novels are set amongst the super-mega-wealthy Manhattan elite. Gossip Girl (AKA GG) is an anonymous and definitely stylish blogger who chronicles the social lives of the most popular and therefore perfect private school students – with an emphasis on the stud. As GG says “The fabulous are fabulous for a reason, people” (p. 116). In Gossip girl : a novel, Serena the siren is back from boarding school & her ex-BFF Blair is keen to keep her away from her man Nate. As with all great gossip there’s a juicy love triangle and this scandal develops well; I was kinda hanging out to hear what was going to happen. Everybody wants to be with – or to be – Nate, Blair or Serena, and the main plot revolves around their social lives.  We follow this trio around glamorous bars, clothing boutiques, through Central Park and school, even to grungy Brooklyn, and are witness to “normal” events in privileged teenagers’ lives made super juicy by clever, biting fly-on-the-wall narration. The writing is often funny, always snappy, and designer-label bitchy. I completely want to know who Gossip Girl is, so the plot device is working wonders. It’s fun to read something so light which is a genuine page-turner.

Would you recommend it? Yes. Or as GG would say: “You know you want to”.

Notable quotable: “Only two nights ago, Nate had come over after a party with a half-drunk flask of brandy… and had murmered, “I want you, Blair.” Once again, Blair had wanted to scream and jump on top of him, but she resisted. Nate fell asleep, snoring softly, and Blair lay down next to him and imagined that she and Nate were starring in a movie in which they were married and he had a drinking problem, but she would stand by him always and love him forever, even if he occasionally wet the bed.” (p. 9)

Photo for #dailyimage2011 on flickr

An observation
It’s strange, in writing this I notice I almost feel the need to excuse reading this type of book. I joke about it’s lowbrow-ness. But really, who cares?! Or perhaps more importantly, why do I care? In defence of graphic novels, comics or magazines, or anything at work, I always say “any reading is good reading”. So why not believe it when thinking about my own reading?

Dear Reader:

  • Do you like the GG books? Perhaps the tv series?
  • Do you also have books you’re shy to talk about? What’s up with that?!

  • Christina May 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I know right?? I feel that way about Twilight. Even when speaking about it, I feel like it needs to be in hushed tones because Twilight has been deemed sub par, or just plain uncool by most. I see their reasoning (mostly) but when I think back to when I first read it, it was love.

    I loved Gossip Girl! I read quite a lot of the series, waaay before the show was made and really enjoyed it, Blair’s my favourite (both on page and on screen). There’s nothing wrong with liking it, and to hear you like it, as a male reader, is very interesting. I always wonder what guys think about books that are considered “girly”. Respect.

    So glad to see you finally posted a review! Wasn’t so hard now was it? Keep it up, we need more male book bloggers out there :)

    • dpgreen May 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Although I haven’t read it, I know Twilight is a great example. It seems many people are hesitant to admit how much they loved it; incl. my friends, colleagues, customers @ MPOW. I’m keen to keep going with GG, & then to check out the show, as I said. I’m glad you enjoy it too – how could we not?! Thanks for the feedback about the review, I appreciate it :)

  • Emma May 30, 2011 at 3:50 am

    I’m more ashamed of how little reading I do these days! Although I always considered Terry Pratchett novels a guilty pleasure.
    Great review by the way! Although I reckon you liked it a bit more than 3 out of 5 :)

    • dpgreen June 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Thx Emma for your comment :) (Pls excuse my tardy reply…) I’m sure you read lots online though? It’s funny, I never count blogs etc in any tally. Yay Mr. Pratchett! Glad you liked the review, thank you! And yes, maybe I did like it more than 3 out of 5, just quietly.

  • Hana June 19, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Great review David! Well done! I didn’t know that was your first book review on your blog, would’ve thought you’d done them before, ahh assumption.

    What are we reviewing next?