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Tag: Gossip Girl

New Books

These are this week’s new books. Some are long-awaited! Some aren’t, but may be very good. I remember when Twilight and The Book Thief came out – they sat on the shelves for ages before they became super-popular. You just never know, do you.

I Will Always Love You : A Gossip Girl Novel, by Cecily Von Ziegesar (387 pages) – Here it is; the latest Gossip Girl book. What happens? I think they’re at college, which is what the Americans call university, and this book follows the original gang when they’re home for the winter break.

First lines: ‘“You awake, Scout?” Blair Waldorf awoke from a nap to the sight of her boyfriend, Pete Carlson, gazing down at here.

As You Wish, by Jackson Pearce (298 pages) – Viola’s boyfriend broke up with her, sadly. But! She accidently summons a genie, named Jinn, with whom she begins to fall in love. So to keep him around she delays her third wish.

First line: ‘All I’ve learned in today’s Shakespeare class is: Sometimes you have to fall in love with the wrong person just so you can find the right person.

Alex Rider : Crocodile Tears, by Anthony Rider (388 pages) – HERE IT IS! The seventh Alex Rider book. It’s in great demand so won’t be on the shelf for aaaages. Alex Rider is a teen who moonlights as a secret agent for the British government. He’s not too fond of the situation but I bet he secretly loves the gadgets.

First line: ‘Ravi Chandra was going to be a rich man.

Vacations from Hell, by Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia Gray, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Mlynowski (280 pages) – This is a collection of short stories about vacations from hell. They are ghost stories! Just in time for the Xmas holidays.

Tempted : A House of Night Novel, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (319 pages) – The blurb for this is difficult to summarise! So here is the catalogue description. ‘Zoey Redbird, High Priestess-in-training, finds herself juggling three guys–one of which is so into protecting her that he can sense her emotions. Meanwhile the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and only Zoey has the power to stop the evil immortal Kalona who is behind it. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul?‘ WILL SHE?

First line: ‘The night sky over Tulsa was alight with a magical crescent moon.

Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover, by Ally Carter (263 pages) – This is the third Gallagher Girls book. The Gallgher Academy for Exceptional Young Women trains girls into spies. One of them – Morgan – must help her pal-with-a-stalker, Macey, whose father has been nominated for the US presidency.

First lines: ‘“We’re moving.” The man beside me spoke into the microphone in his sleeve, and I knew the words weren’t for me.

Invisible I : The Amanda Project – Book 1 , by Melissa Kantor (292 pages) – Another difficult book to easily summarise, but luckily there is an interactive website!  It sells itself, really.

First line: ‘Why is it that when you don’t want to think about something, you can’t stop thinking about it?

Fortune’s Folly, by Deva Fagan (260 pages) – Fortuna tells fakes fortunes so that she and her father can eat. But when she tells Prince Leonato his fortune, she must make sure it’s fulfilled or her father gets it. There’s a magic sword, a wicked witch, and a golden shoe. Oh and she falls in love with the prince! I hope it ends happily.

First line: ‘Life would have been much easier if I believed in fairy tales.

Sacred Scars : A Resurrection of Magic – Book 2, by Kathleen Duey (554 pages) – From the catalogue again (it’s difficult to summarise 554 pages): ‘In alternate chapters, Sadima works to free captive boys forced to copy documents in the caverns of Limòri, and Hahp makes a pact with the remaining students of a wizards’ academy in hopes that all will survive their training, as both learn valuable lessons about loyalty.

First line: ‘Sadima sat cross-legged on the cold stone, just outside the cage.

Betrayals : A Strange Angels Novel, by Lili St. Crow (296 pages) – Werewolves (in this they’re called ‘wulfen’, singular ‘werwulf’), vampires (or ‘djamphirs’) and orphans (also called … oh wait)  – this has it all. ‘Suspenseful and action-packed.’

First line: ‘Windshield wipers struggled back and forth, clumped with snow.

Blood Promise : A Vampire Academy Novel, by Richelle Mead (503 pages) – This is book four in the series. Rose has to kill her one true love, Dimitri, who has turned bad. Awkward! Probably for the best though.

First line: ‘Once when I was in ninth grade, I had to write a paper on a poem.

In brief:

Breathing Underwater, by Julia Green (201 pages)
Rosie and Skate, by Beth Ann Bauman (217 pages)
Taylor Lautner : Me & You, by Josie Rusher (60 pages)

Top 10: Series about fabulous rich girls

The success of the Gossip Girl series has led to a number of similarly-themed series. They tend to have several things in common: the main characters are girls, who are rich, or share the same social circles as the über-rich, and they go to an exclusive private school; the books are usually set in (or near) New York; and most of the characters favour style over substance (afterall, it’s difficult to be friendly towards someone in a denim skirt). Sometimes they’re undead, or even just dead.

So here’s a list (in no particular order):

1. The Gossip Girl – The series so popular it’s now a television series! It’s set on the Upper East Side of Manhatten, which is New York’s Oriental Parade, only vastly more wealthy and stylish. No beach, however. The books are about a group of friends/enemies, their designer clothes and parties. The Gossip Girl herself anonymously writes about them. The school is called the Constance Billard School for Girls. There’s a gazillion books in the series.

2. The It Girl – The ‘It Girl’ in the title went to the Constance Billard School for Girls but was so poorly behaved she was sent to the very exclusive Waverly Prep boarding school. She will do anything – anything! – get to be one of the Waverly elite. This series is one of the two Gossip Girl spin-offs (all were created by Cecily von Ziegesar, but most are written by other people).

3. Gossip Girl: The Carlyles – The Carlyle triplets move from Nantucket to NYC after the death of their grandmother. They go to Constance Billard (and St. Jude’s School for Boys, for one of them is a boy) and quickly prove to be even more vicous – and fabulous – than Serena, Blair, etc. (Official website for Gossip Girl.)

4. The Ashleys, by Melissa De la Cruz – At Miss Gamble’s Preparatory School for Girls the three reigning princesses of popularity are all named Ashley; hence ‘The Ashleys’. New-comer Lauren is determined to enter their group. This series is set in San Francisco, and not New York, which is a shame but there you have it. (Official website.)

5. The Clique, by Lisi Harrison – The Clique are a group of girls who are the top of the popularity food chain at their private school.  The books are notable (according to the Library School Journal) for the characters’ cruelty. Awesome! It’s set in Westchester County, New York, where the X-Men hang out (incidentally). Who would win in a fight? The first book was made into a direct-to-DVD film, newly arrived at the library. (Official website.)

6. Inside Girl, by J Minter – Fourteen-year-old Flan Flood’s family are all incredibly beautiful socialites, but she decided to break with tradition and goes to a typical public school. It’s a spin-off from another series by J. Minter, The Insiders, which is more in keeping with the other series in this list. Set in and around lower Manhattan. (Official website.)

7. Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard – Three years ago the leader (Alison) of a group of girls disappears. Now someone calling themselves ‘A’ is threatening to expose the secrets of the group, who all fit the Gossip Girl mold. With a bit of mystery thrown in, the series has been called ‘Desperate Housewives for teens.’ (Official website.)

8. Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la Cruz – Set amongst Manhattan’s elite teens, Blue Bloods throws vampirism into the mix. (Official website.)

9. Vampire Academy, by Rachelle Mead – St Vladimir’s is a private academy (in Montana, not NY) for vampires and the half-vampires who protect them. The series is notable for being set in a gritty and dark world which doesn’t hold back. Perhaps not so in keeping with this list, but the academy is about as exclusive as it gets and one of the main characters is a princess. A vampire princess. (Official website.)

10. The Luxe, by Anna Godberson – Most reviewers remark that this series is essentially Gossip Girl – Manhattan, rich glamorous people, and so on – set in 1899. I’m not sure what the ‘Luxe’ in the title refers to, but funnily enough 1899 was the year that Lux soap was launched in the UK. (Official website.)