Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar

Title: Gossip Girl
Author: Cecily von Ziegesar
Summary: Read Goodreads Synopsis
Source: Library
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts:

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.


My Rating:

Pretty Good... Stay up until your bedtime.

~Jessica

6 comments:

  1. LOL! Based on your blog icon I am surprised you didn't read the books straight away after watching the show. I am a complete Gossip Girl TV series fanatic but not sure how I would go reading a book about it. Somehow, what appears fun and frivolous on TV always ends up irritating to me in a book. It was the same with the Sex and the City books :(

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  2. Probably because I'm so behind on my reading, lol. I started the obsession beginning of summer and blitzed through seasons 1-3. August 23rd cannot come fast enough for season 4's release! What I can't believe is that I didn't know who Ed Westwick was prior to June 1st this year. So much I was missing out on!

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  3. Season 4 is awesome. Less Jenny and Vanessa who I couldn't stand and Blair is a classic. You'll love it! I love Ed. Whenever he says "I'm Chuck Bass" I go, yes...yes you are ;P

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  4. Weirdly, I have the same story with this book. I read it before the TV series in about 2003/4 and didn't like it, then loved the TV series, so went back to the book and liked it much more. My reasons for disliking it the first time were different to yours, though - I just thought it was unbelievable. I'm a poor girl from London, so to read about these rich New Yorkers, acting like they were 30 when they were 15 - I just couldn't picture it.

    After I watched the TV series and seen the actors make this world real to me, it was a lot easier for me to swallow. And I could like the characters more when I pictured them as Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, etc.

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  5. Lan: I wish I could get it sooner! At least it's only a week away now. I think my heart flutters a teeny bit when he says that... :P

    TG: Yes! It does have that unbelievable feel to it. And that's what I did too, picture the characters from the show while I read the book. ;)

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