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Book Review: Gossip Girl


Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar

I try not to hate things that I don’t have any experience with. So every time someone would enter the library looking for one of the Gossip Girl books, I tried to be objective. I finally decided to read the first book in the series, entitled, appropriately, Gossip Girl #1.

Turns out, I didn’t hate the book at all. I didn’t love it–teen relationship books really aren’t my thing.But I found myself propelled from one page to the next because the book works just like gossip. It’s hard for me to stay out of once I’m in. It’s hard to not want to know the secrets. It’s hard to not want to get down in the muck like a gossipy hog.

I understand the appeal. I just wish I didn’t.

Back when The Onion was releasing its yearly anthology books, there were occasionally pages with mock TV schedules on them. I remember that one of the shows was called “Pretty, interchangeable teenagers hurt each other’s feelings.”

That’s Gossip Girl #1, and it probably follows that the rest of the books (and the show, which I haven’t seen) continue along the same path.

The narrator, known only as Gossip Girl, talks about these interchangeable teenagers as they fall in and out of love, party, flirt, get in various scrapes and inconveniences, wallow in privilege, and bitch about everything and everyone.

If you go into this looking for intricate character development and ingenious plotting, you’ll be disappointed.

But if you go in knowing that you’re about to indulge in cattiness, backbiting, gossip, and snark, you’ll probably enjoy yourself.

I won’t be going back to the books, but if I did, I’m sure I’d finish every single one.

One indisputable point:  I think Cecily Von Ziegesar might be the greatest author’s name of all time.

Any fans out there?


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  • Emily July 27, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I used to read them, and I’ve seen a few of the shows. They’re great beach reads 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne July 28, 2011, 12:55 pm

      If I ever went to the beach, I would probably agree.