Friday, July 25, 2008

Gossip Girl the Carlyles by Cecily von Ziegesar

Gossip Girl is a sensation that has moved from the page to the small screen with the hit TV show. Never having read any of the books, I decided to see what they were all about. The Carlyles is the newest book from the Gossip Girl series, and I was a bit hesitant picking it up not having read any of the others. For others new to the series, have no fear, this is actually the first book in a new set of characters with Gossip Girl still dishing out the latest info on the characters.

The characters at the center of the drama are the Carlyle triplets - Avery, Owen, and Baby - who just moved to Manhattan from Nantucket. Avery wants nothing more than to fit into the world of the all girl school and be popular. It doesn't help, though, that she makes enemies with the top dog - Jack Laurent - before school even begins. Now she has even more work cut out for her, but she's not giving up. Owen, her very attractive swimming obsessed brother, has his own problems when he realizes his summer love is actually the girlfriend of his new best friend. When she (Kat to Owen or Kelsey to the rest of the world) dumps her boyfriend (Rhys Sterling) for "someone else" Rhys is devastated and Owen is put between a rock and a hard place since he can't betray his new friend for a girl. And then there's Baby who walks to a beat of a different drummer. She doesn't fit in and she doesn't care. All she wants to do is return to Nantucket and the stoner boyfriend she left behind. When she runs into J.P. Cashman and his dogs, she realizes there might be something worthwhile in New York when he offers her a job walking the dogs she falls in love with. Things might not be so bad for Baby and Avery if it weren't for Jack, who just happens to be J.P.'s demanding girlfriend. Not to mention the fact that her father just cut off all of her expenses, Jack just might prove to be their worst enemy.

All of the drama in the novel just might be a little too much to swallow, as are all of the fashion references. True that's the world of the rich and soon to be famous, but I don't really care what designer Avery's wearing and I don't know that what makes one thing totally hot versus so last season. It all seemed too shallow for me. The only character I really liked was Baby and that was because she didn't give into that world. It was nice to see someone not get sucked in. Owen was also a good character due his loyalty for Rhys but that's not to say that he doesn't have his own ulterior motives. Avery, you can sympathize with her desire to fit in, but, at the same time, you can't help but wonder why she wants to go through all that trouble to be like Jack who has no soul. All of the male characters are likable. The women, on the other hand, you just want to smack, except, like I said, Baby.

Does that make the novel good or bad, I can't really decide. Maybe this is exactly like the original Gossip Girl, but I can't compare due to not having read the others. I'm sure there are parallels, why deviate too much from a working patter, but I don't know. I'm sure that loyal fans will love this new addition. For me, if there's nothing else to read I might pick up the next book coming out in October, but, for now, I prefer books with a little more depth to them.

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