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Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
I've been so burned by "literary" books lately that I'm reading some real pablum, because hey, at least it lives up (or down?) to expectations.

Gossip Girl is eerily reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars. I honestly don't know which came first, and I don't care enough to look it up. The point is, if you like PLL, you'll like GG, and if you hate PLL, I can't imagine you liking GG. They're two privileged, gossipy high-school peas in a pod.

It may be due mostly to primacy bias (by which I mean, because I read it first), but I give PLL the slight edge. As you may recall from my reviews, the PLL books each ended on a fairly dramatic cliffhanger that sent me scrambling for the next book in the series. Also, there was only one character referred to by an initial, the mysterious and threatening "A". In GG, annoyingly, the little gossip columns scattered throughout refer to everyone within initials: "D and J might hook up! But B might have something to say about that, unless N gets there first! I and K are totally getting fat, and I think J has a crush on S!" You get the picture -- and it's a pretty annoying picture. Fortunately I think the gossip columns are pretty easily skimmed and otherwise ignored -- I don't much care about the identity of GG. As a mysterious figure she just can't hold a candle to A.

One thing that really bothers me: the gigantic closeup of some part of Serena's body that is everywhere as "art", but no one seems to know what it is. Her eye? Her belly button? Her pursed lips? I am really deeply afraid that it's something unmentionable, because why else all the secrecy? Ick!

For commitment-phobes, though, this is a very quick and easy read. I began and finished it during a nice long soak in the tub -- maybe an hour and a half, if that long. It might get you through a doctor's appointment, but don't take it to the beach unless you have room in your tote bag for the next two books in the series as well. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
A group of moneyed, private school teens on Manhattan's Upper East Side have been friends for years. Their lives revolve around parties, charity events, sex, and drinking. Currently shaking up the new school year is the return of Serena who's been kicked out of boarding school. The gossip whirls about her and her supposed drug and sex escapades. Blair resents Serena's return. Nate, Blair's boyfriend, pines for Serena, as do Dan and his younger sister Jenny. Outsider Vanessa pines for Dan. Tying the pieces together is the unseen narrator, the gossip girl. The ending is a little pat: Blair and Serena part ways, Nate and Blair reaffirm their relationship and Serena ends up with Dan, not a rich kid.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This book is obviously not a literary masterpiece. It's pure entertainment, perfect for a day at the beach. "Gossip Girl" is very easy to read (I was finished in an hour or two)and gives an interesting look into the life of upper-class teenagers in New York City. For those looking for an easy, MTV-style read, I would recommend "Gossip Girl". ( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Jan 26, 2016 |
I read most of this one and books 2-4 one right after another while sipping piña coladas on the beach, so they all blur together. I think this one was my least favorite, but maybe just because it took a while to get to know the characters. I don't think these are well written, and there's a lot of repetition from book to book (I assume that is for people who either don't read, or forget, the ones before it in the series). But, the books are quick to read and a lot of fun. I may not like most of the characters as people, but they are well-constructed and interesting. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  melaniefaith | Dec 2, 2015 |
DISCLAIMER: I am not the age group this book is geared towards. I have not seen the TV series (although curiosity about made me put this book in he TBR pile).

That said, I am not following the trend of other reviewers that rate a 5 if they are under 20 and a 1 if an old fogey passing moral judgments. I am almost 50 but even in my day teenagers sought the next party, did not police their friends actions, knew where to get drugs/alcholol whether or not they indulged and never thought about consequences so no judgment on that (although I would warn a parent before they let their kids read this series that there is a lot of underage sex, drinking, drugs and sexual assault with some bulleimia (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) thrown in for atmosphere).

The 1 star I am giving this book is because I did not like the writing. I felt it was poorly-edited, choppy, uneven (even if shooting for a blog style or gossip column style of thing) and never brought the characters or story to life where I could connect to either. The story and characters were run of the mill cardboard cutouts I have read in dozens of other books so I was pretty bored. Throw in endless bad behavior, parties, brand name dropping ... nothing ever got interesting. And no character ever got remotely interesting or likable. And while the age group is very accepting of almost anything their friends are doing, the unwanted sexual advances stuff that got accepted as "oh that's just the way he is" did really challenge my determination to not be judgmental. Not what I want to read about; thank you very much -- and I will read and enjoy almost anything if you give me characters, worlds or plots to get into. On the plus side, did not spend entire book in the halls of their high schools dripping with teenage angst and avoided the I-don't-know-love-triangles a lot of YA fiction devolves into.

The brand names were very dated for time book was written and read more like cadged from People magazine, Sex and The City or a resort mall walk through. None of these chic New Yorkers shopped little boutiques, had coutere items from overseas design houses, or any of status symbol items you are likely to have to get on a waiting list and have the clout or funds to bribe purveyors to get. And more likely popular with the moms-who-lunched crowd than these purported teenagers. So just boring brand name repetition you can get in any grocery store magazine selection or hundreds of chick lit reads. Even the explanation of parents allowing teens to drink, sex, and do drugs practically in front of them as safer at home than not being a quasi-European tradition did not wash (Eurotrash fallout I guess) for someone who has lived in Europe. In Europe, admittedly, drinking ages mostly lower and wine or weak ales, watered down appropriately for ages and body weights of children at table, were served with food--the only tradition I saw that might make author put that explanation in. But chugging back scotch after scotch? And teens, not bartenders or parents, pouring for themselves and friends?

What was the plot of this thing anyway? ( )
  Spurts | Oct 29, 2015 |
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Epigraph
"Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality." Oscar Wilde
Dedication
First words
Ever wonder what the lives of the chosen ones are really like?
Quotations
"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 privacy. We're smart, we've inherited classic good looks, we wear fantastic clothes, and we know how to party."
p. 3
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
We're smart, we've inherited classic good looks, and we know how to party. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it.

This is the world of Gossip Girl - inhabited by the city's most glamorous people and filled with spicy gossip, jealousy, betrayal and Jimmy Choo shoes.

...S is back from boarding school. Her hair is longer, paler. Her blue eyes have that deep mysteriousness of kept secrets... If we aren't careful, S is going to win over our teachers, wear that dress we couldn't fit into, eat the last olive. spill Campari on our rugs, steal our brothers' and boyfriends' hearts, and basically ruin our lives in a major way.

I'll be watching closely. I'll be watching all of us. It's going to be a wild and wicked year. I can smell it.

Love,
gossip girl.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316910333, Paperback)

Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep--sometimes with each other.

S is back from boarding school, and if we aren't careful, she's going to win over our teachers, wear that dress we couldn't fit into, steal our boyfriends' hearts, and basically ruin our lives in a major way. I'll be watching closely...

You know you love me,
gossip girl

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Presents a world of jealousy and betrayal at an exclusive private school in Manhattan.

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