Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gossip Girl

Okay, I admit it. I love the TV show Gossip Girl. It started as a guilty pleasure, something I watched secretly every week, hidden in my bedroom, but soon it grew. Since I enjoy it so much, I decided to check out the book series it's based on, penned by Cecily Von Ziegesar (an Upper East Side name if I've ever heard one.) Now, I'm going to be honest here and say that the first book was absolutely terrible. So bad, in fact, that I refuse to continue the series. And here's why.

1) The characters are terribly written. Each character is a complete stereotype. There's the brooding poet, the hot rich girl, the sex-crazed guy friend, and so on. And not one is likable. It's hard to feel bad for them when you can't stand them. From start to finish, the characters never learn or grow, they just stay the same. Yes, this is high school, I get it, but it's also a book. Give me some depth! The book has none.

2) The plot is everywhere. I wasn't exactly sure where the book was going. Was there a climax? Was I excited about anything? No, not really. The author writes a typical day fine, but that's the problem with the book. It's all very...boring. And when something "big" happens, it's nothing of note.

3) What was the purpose of "Gossip Girl?" A various blogger called "Gossip Girl" intermittently adds various pieces of information about the cast of characters. None of it is important though. I suppose it's showing that we live in a digital age, but it doesn't help the story progress, nor does it matter.

I hate saying that a TV show is better than its literary counterpart, but that's the case here. I think Ziegesar should take a few notes from the creator of the show, Josh Schwartz, and liven up the books a bit. Bring some truth into them, make the characters relatable. Because the first book is like a thrift store t-shirt. Trendy to get, but not always perfect. Clean it up and accessorize a bit and then you'll have something special.