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What is better than being young,
rich, pampered, and living in NYC? Being in a position to gossip about those
who are! That is the premise behind Cecily Von
Ziegesar's Gossip Girl series. In the premier book, the
in-crowd must deal with the scandalous resurfacing of one of their own.
Gossip Girl by Cecily Von
Ziegesar is set on the Upper East Side of New York City. Another
school year has begun for the students of the exclusive Constance Billard
School for Girls and its counterpart the equally exclusive St. Jude's School
for Boys. Blair Waldorf is convinced that nothing will stand in the way for her
plans for the perfect senior year. She is rich, gorgeous, popular, and dating
the very desirable and equally rich Nate Archibald. Her agenda for the perfect
year includes losing her virginity to Nate, a memorable seventeenth birthday
bash, and getting into the college of her choice. Everything is perfect until
Serena van der Woodsen, her former best friend, drops back into Constance
Billard. Serena is richer, more beautiful, more popular, and unbeknownst to
Blair, has already had sex with Nate. Rumors abound about Serena and why she
was expelled from boarding school, but the real reason for her expulsion pales
in comparison to what Blair and her friends are actually doing at Billard.
Blair fails again and again to create a picture perfect scenario for losing her
virginity to Nate. In her frustration over her failures she escapes into the
bulimic secure of her bathroom. Nate, for his part, is frustrated with what he
perceives as Blair's sexual teasing and game playing. He finds solace by
smoking a joint in the park with his "stoner" friends. Serena is
simply lonely and just wants to have a friend with which to hang out. Now add
to this mix – Jenny Humphrey, an overly endowed freshman who idolizes Serena,
Dan Humphrey, Jenny's older brother who is secretly in love with Serene and
horny Chuck Bass who just wants to get laid. Add a liberal dose of alcohol and
drugs. Shake the mix up at the "Kiss on the Lips" dance, the social
event of the junior set's calendar and you have the making of a laugh filled
social disaster of seismic proportions.
Girl is Beverley Hills 90210 set
on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan. As one reviewer described the novel it is a
story of "a
clique of horrible people behave badly to one another." But before you
dismiss the book, the reader needs to understand that it is just this rotten
behavior dolled up in diamonds and fur that makes for titillating reading. No
one can dish dirt better than the filthy rich. The bulk of the characters are
self-centered and shallow. Their empty lives revolve around shopping,
gossiping, guilty pleasures and putting each other down. Even the main event of
this novel, the
"Kiss on the Lips" Dance that is a fundraising dance, is more
about designer gift bags than saving endangered birds.
Who is Cecily Von
Ziegesar? Here's the scoop! She attended Colby College, lived in
Budapest for a year, studied creative writing at the University
of Arizona, there she met and married a "dashing Englishman", moved
to London, and now lives
in Manhattan. She is the mother of eight-month old Agnes. She has an active
social life that includes society parties and fundraisers. It took her four
months to write Gossip Girl and is
now in the process of writing a series of sequels.
Gossip Girl by Cecily Von
Ziegesar is sure to be a bestseller with the junior set. It is Cabot's
Princess Diaries with
all the scandalous parts left in. Parents should be pre-warned that this book
is filled with copious drugs and alcohol abuse and abundant casual sex, albeit
not graphically described. Not great literature, but who can resist a hearty
dose of lurid gossip now and then. Hey, I enjoyed it! Ages 15 years and
© 2003 Su Terry
Su Terry: Education:
B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from
Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral
Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual
Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the
United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at
Dowling College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested
in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area
of research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian
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