I have to be honest, I have watched the TV show and I became obsessed. After finishing the six seasons I needed something to fill the void so after hearing about the books I moved this direction. Gossip Girl is about the elite Upper East Side families in New York City, it focuses on Serena Van Der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass. They’re all teenagers in school trying to finish off their final year in school and of course in style. They’re all the children of wealthy parents and know how to use their name and money for influence. However not just in everyday life but their friendships, relationships and school life play a big part in their final year and all whilst climbing the social ladder.
I didn’t know what to expect from the books because I know how things are adjusted for TV, however I was surprised to see quite a lot of similarities in this first novel. The characters are all very similar to their onscreen portrayals and although I see the actors from the TV show there are even many similarities in personality too. Of course there are a few moments where artistic license has been used to increase the drama for the screen but overall it is a good adaptation. In saying this though I have only read the first book and I can already imagine how the TV show has drifted slowly away from the novels but after all I won’t know this unless I continue reading.
The characters in the plot are a mixture of love and hate, it’s hard to like them when they’re so manipulative, spoilt and entitled. Yet at the same time I can’t stop reading and following their lives, there really is some fascination in reading about a life completely different to your own. I really enjoyed the constant juxtaposition of characters from less –well off families such as Dan in Brooklyn and his constant comparison to Serena. As well as this it’s interesting to watch the upper class kids and Jenny who idolises their power and wealth as she tries her best to fit in.
I found this book very quick to read at just short of two hundred pages and the plot moves very quickly jumping from Gossip Girl articles online talking about recent activity in New York City with these families then moving onto the actual story of what’s happening with them. It’s a very easy book to read especially if you are interested in a young adult and high school drama style read.
I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads because let’s be honest I was a little biased going into this book already having loved the TV show. However being objective I really liked this book, I thought it was fast paced, and interesting as it portrayed the wealthy lifestyle of New York’s elite. I also enjoyed reading about how teenagers were capable of drinking underage, buying designer clothes, manipulating people with money and making their way up the social ladder. I think for the right person this book will be as enjoyable for them as it was for me, definitely check it out. I’m away now to start reading the next in the series, one book down only 12 to go.