Author: Cecily von Ziegesar
Summary: Read Goodreads Synopsis
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
I originally read this book probably when I was 19 or 20, back in the infancy of the series. I couldn’t get into it. I attribute my inability to enjoy it for a couple reasons. Number one, I had no idea what was going on. Too many characters and too many situations going on, I got lost. Number two, around that time I was reading mostly fluffy novels--YA romances with formulaic story lines that were easy to follow and easy to digest. So to read a story with a serious or detailed story line, I pretty much gave up early on. As time has gone on, though, I’ve picked up quite a few books with substance and intense story lines.
Since I didn’t enjoy the book, when the TV series came out I wasn’t interested at all. Over the years I’ve become more interested in young adult TV dramas. I used to be a huge fan of The OC when it was on, and then became obsessed with Veronica Mars. I discovered that the producer behind The OC is the producer behind Gossip Girl, and Kristen Bell (who played the character Veronica Mars) was the narrating voice for Gossip Girl. That, and my desire to find a new series to follow that revolved around teens/twenty-somethings, built up so much that when the series went on sale for $9.99 on Amazon, I bought it. I ended up getting hooked. And then wanting to try the series again.
Upon my second attempt to read the book, I found that I enjoyed it much more. Knowing the characters and the story lines from watching the show helped me keep things straight. Also, I believe that since I’m much older now (only by like 6 years, but still) I can grasp these stories a lot better when there’s a lot going on. I’m impressed at the way the show worked in the various scenes from the book. Not all of it is exact (you can pretty much never expect that), but they did a good job by not deviating too much from the basic theme (meaning it's still Upper East Side elite kids doing crazy stuff, but there are differences in some aspects of the characters, and some plot lines vary). The way the story plays out in the first book is different in a few ways (like the reason for the Kiss On The Lips party, Vanessa being there and filming, Serena’s modeling stint). Also the characters are much more inappropriate in the book than on the show (which you expect considering it’s on regular TV and not HBO). The immaturity of the thoughts and actions of the characters was surprisingly more amusing than anything. Elite socialites talking about bodily functions? Hilarious. Even the rich kids are just as childish as the rest of us.
So, you can say I did enjoy it. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was good. If you watch the show, take a look at the book. You may like it, or have a better appreciation for it like me.
Pretty Good... Stay up until your bedtime.