Friday, 18 July 2014

Gossip Girl Series #1-13 by Cecily Van Ziegesar

Goodreads Summary for Gossip Girl (1st book): 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

Gossip Girl series:

It Had to Be You (sequel)
Gossip Girl 
You Know You Love Me

All I Want Is Everything

Because I'm Worth It

I Like It Like That
You're The One That I Want
Nobody Does It Better
Nothing Can Keep Us Together
Only In Your Dreams
Would I Lie to You
Don't You Forget About Me 
I Will Always Love You


I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but the Gossip girl series is my not so guilty pleasure. Reading this series felt more like going through a tabloid magazine rather than an actual novel. I wasn’t following a story until its conclusion. I was following the serialised outrageous life of some celebrities and semi celebrities. That’s why I’m reviewing the series as a whole and not each book separately, because knowing the resolution of the plot wasn’t what made me turn the page.

Like most books turned into TV series, the books are much better than the TV adaptation. 
However, I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t have known the books if it wasn’t for the show.
In Gossip girl, we’re following the life of six teenagers from New York, the very wealthy Blair Warldorf, Serena Van Der Woodsen, Nate Archibald and the middle class Daniel Humphrey, his little sister Jenny and their friend Vanessa Abrams.

Even thought they aren’t necessarily close, each character knows one another. Despite this connection, all have their own individual plot.

Are Daniel and Vanessa going to wound up together, at last? Will Jenny be able to get the popularity and exuberant lifestyle she’s so desperately seeking? Will Nate finally get the balls to take the reins of his life or will he always go wherever the wind blows him? Will Blair be able to go to Yale and get Nate her first and only love? Will Serena found a man with whom she can stay with more than a week (by the end of the series, it becomes whether she will end up with Nate who may be her first and only love)? 

For those who only watched the TV show, let me tell you that only the first season respect a little the books’ plot, and when I say a little, I truly mean it. The characters’ personality and their relationship with each other were also altered. I prefer the character in the books, they are far less angsty and more likeable.

I won’t go into too many details but Chuck (Nate’s BFF in the TV show) and Eric (Serena’s little brother in the TV show) were changed a lot. In the book, Chuck is far nastier and annoying, besides he’s friend with none of the other characters. Blair, Serena and Nate only tolerate him because he’s from the social circle as them. He isn’t even a main character.
And in the book, Eric is Serena’s big brother and he studies at Brown University. He isn’t depressed at all, quite the contrary. He’s a fun loving, happy-go-lucky lady’s man. Compared to the TV show, he rarely appears in the books.

Even though, I could read the Gossip Girl’s books at anytime and anyday, I know that there aren’t everyone’s cups of tea.

The first book of the series, You know you love me opens with the return of the uber gorgeous Serena Van Der Woodsen in New York’s social scene. Serena had suddenly disappeared during the summer break after 10th grade and she spent the following year at boarding school. Nobody had seen her for over a year, and she didn’t even bother to keep in touch with her friends. Rumours about why she left were wild and the one about why she came back were even wilder.

And the last book, I will always love you, is about the life of our characters post high school.
In this series, there’s a continuous feeling of tongue in cheekiness that makes it impossible to take the books completely seriously.

From the beginning till the end, you’re simply following the drama of some shallow teenagers commented by the witty and sarcastic Gossip Girl. And in midst of this drama, there’s some pseudo plot. In a way, it’s kind of like watching a TV reality show. There’s all sort of events, university interviews, modelling gig, acting gig, a bit of sex and romance, wedding, shopping trips, exotic holiday resort...and much more. Don’t forget to throw on some high end designers’ clothes and shoes and luxurious home (for the wealthy that is).

Conclusion: some may love Gossip Girls as I did, other may be put off by its shallowness and lack of depth. As people say, to each its own.

( I would have rated Gossip Girl higher if I had only taken into account the fact that it deeply entertained me. But to be honest, if I pay attention to the content: plot, characters development..etc I think a C is closer to the mark, lol).


  1. Does chuck ever date Blair in the book?

  2. Hi, ang!

    Thanks for posting a comment! They date briefly in I Will Always Love You. But their relation isn't at all like in the show.


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