Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too bad Daddy's Amex can't buy you a soul...

I'm swimming in articles about YA literature. These articles mainly just made me love Roger even more than I already do. (We were reading "Problems, Paperbacks, and the Printz: 40 Year of YA Literature.") I read several articles that covered the same ground, but you can't beat Roger's tone of voice.

Which brings us to Gossip Girl in my mind. Somehow. Anyway, you know I love this series. Seriously love this series. I understand why people object, but sometimes I think they need to get over themselves. For class, we had to read another article, this time by Anita Silvey who discusses the rising trend of fantasy or other worlds over realistic fiction and how/why they are appealing to today's YA audience. To quote my friend Mary, who was talking about Sex and the City but the same idea holds, "It's fantasy, except instead of aliens they have men." And instead of wizards, they have shoes. They might not be super spies, but they are super shoppers in ways the majority of us can only be in our wildest dreams. And yes, I realize the irony of me posting this just after reading Liz's post revisiting class in YA lit.

Anyway, the actual books.

WARNING: I am reviewing books 3, 4, and 5 in a series. There will be spoilers for the books that come before it. It's the nature of the best.

Because I'm Worth It Cecily von Ziegesar

February. Fashion week. Nate gets busted for weed and meets an heiress. Serena gets model-discovered while shopping. Blair cuts her hair. Jenny makes a friend. Dan and Vanessa have drama I never expected.

It had been a long time since I had read Gossip Girl... in fact, over a year (I read a few for last year's 48 Hour Challenge). I had forgotten how fast paced it is. How the characters develop really slowly. (Can you believe I'm starting to feel sorry for Blair?!) How absolutely biting and funny it is.

No, it's not literature, but it's also now as trashy as you'd think.

I Like It Like That Cecily von Ziegesar

Spring Break! Woo! They may not life their shirts like Kitty or Tobias, but these kids still party.

Blair might just finally do the nasty with Serena's brother. Nate's geared up for a romantic getaway with Georgiana. Who might have something to do with why Serena got kicked out of boarding school. Too bad Chuck has shown up. (Dude, what's with Chuck?!) Awkward hilarity ensues. And back home, Jenny's stalking a nice boy and Dan is enduring the internship from hell. Oh, and we finally meet Vanessa's parents. Yikes.

Again, I'm really feeling Blair. I don't know why. And Nate. I was so happy when they broke up, because I was enjoying the series in a catty trash sort of way. I've started actually caring about the characters.

You're the One That I Want Cecily von Ziegesar

And... we all got into college! Or didn't! Serena needs to decide which school to attend, so she falls in love around the Ivies. Nate tries to be sweet by being a jerk. And something HUGE FINALLY happens. I'm surprised they didn't wait until the last book! And Blair is forced to be her mother's birth coach. And Dan and Vanessa play house. And wow Jenny. Wow.

There is SO MUCH going on in these books. I just kinda mentioned a handful of the plots. They're complicated. I had forgotten how much gossip there is in the books and how destructive it is. The characters know it, but can't help themselves, just like most people.


Liz B said...

Well, to add to the irony, I love Gossip Girl (only read the first 3 or 4). I don't love people who think YA begins and ends with GG.

I've been meaning to post about GG, and what I think the brands mean, and how is this worse than Judith Krantz etc? And I think most readers are smart enough to realize what brands in GG mean -- that they are indeed artificial, misplaced values, or quick ways to ID people. In otherwords, they are not shopping guides. Now, maybe, have authors who write GG knockoffs failed to realize what the brands mean? That is possible.

Anyway, not enough time to post more, but ITA GG is simply a quick, fun read -- and the thing is? Quick fun reads are not so easy to find!

Jennie said...

It was just funny to read your post, and try and think of books with lower class people and then go, "Ok Jen, what are we reviewing today? Ah yes, Gossip Girl. Where the Humphreys are 'poor.'"