Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Genre: Contemporary, Snobby
Published by: Little, Brown and Co.
In the vain of me trying to read the novel versions of the TV shows I’m watching, (see my Pretty Little Liars review for the first instalment) I picked up Gossip Girl. We should also bare in mind that I’ve only watched five episodes, so know very little about the characters’ TV counterparts but what I can say about the book versions is this: Privileged, ungrateful and superficial.
Firstly, let’s appreciate the fact that this book was first published in 2002, back in the old days of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. I was five years old, and theses characters were swanning about New York City in high heels, smoking joints and date-raping 14 year olds. It’s safe to say that this book is definitely risqué with the topics it covers.
Secondly, note how the author’s name, Cecily Von Ziegesar, blends in so well with Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen. Plus, her Goodreads author bio begins: ‘Cecily grew up in Manhattan and went to an all-girl’s school on the Upper East Side.’ So, are these books just author wish-fulfillment, of what she dreamed her teenage years were like, or did Cecily herself get up to some mischief?
The one thing this book has going for it is the mystery of Gossip Girl’s identity. I mean, we have to question why someone would be so interested in knowing every little thing about these spoiled rich kids, but still. It gives the series a sense of intrigue. If PLL is anything to go by, Gossip Girl’s true identity won’t be discovered until the end of this 12 book nightmare of inappropriate behaviour.
I’m slamming this book a lot, yes. I’m not sure I truly understand what’s interesting about it beyond the anonymous blogger, Gossip Girl. But, reading about celebrity-types is one of my guilty pleasures and maybe, just maybe, I’ll read the rest of the books in the series, to see if the TV show matches up. On the plus side, these books never seem to be longer than 300 pages, so I could probably read the books faster than I could watch an episode.
Overall, I think Gossip Girl conforms to a lot of stereotypes about snobby, rich kids that don’t know the meaning of money. The only interesting character for me is Serena, because there seems to be a lot below the surface of her perfect hair and makeup. If I continue with the series, I’ll be the only one to blame.