von Ziegesar, Cecily. 2002. Gossip Girl. 199 pages.
What can I say about this one? I was expecting more. More story? More plot? Actual characterization? More something. A something that would keep me, you know, actually tuned into the book and turning pages. And dare I say it? I was expecting more shock. I've heard for years and years how 'shocking' these books are. And it is usually Gossip Girl (and similar series) that are held up as everything that is wrong in the young adult market. So I was expecting more of everything: more obscenity, more drugs, more drinking, more sex, more talk of sex. I don't know. Maybe later books in the series take it there and back again. Don't get me wrong, if you want to take offense, you can take offense. The obnoxiousness of these spoiled brats with no parental supervision who are allowed to do drugs, drink alcohol, have sex, party all hours of the day and night, skip school, and buy anything and everything they could ever want or need is offensive. Offensive for the sense of entitlement and pure obnoxiousness of it more than anything else.
More than anything else I noticed the mediocrity of everything: the characterization, the dialogue, the plot. It read like a novelization of a TV show. Except sadly, the TV show came after the fact. I haven't seen the TV show, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had far more depth and substance and life to it. It must be more entertaining to watch than to read. It just has to be. Granted, this is the first in the series. And as such it was practically plotless in my opinion. Surely, something must happen in each and every book. Right?
What did happen? We met Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen. Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass. They partied. More than once. It is revealed to the readers (several chapters before Blair) that Nate had had sex with Serena several years earlier. Blair, Nate's current girlfriend, freaks out. The end. Okay, not really the end. I guess other stuff technically happens. (Like Chuck making out with a handful of different girls including Serena.) And we meet a few poor people. Okay maybe they're not "poor" poor, but they're not ever-obnoxious and dripping wealth.
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