Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: The It Girl

Note: This is a re-read. From experience I know I liked it better the first time, though I have read a better selection of quality YA books since the first time I read this.

The It Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
Published: by Poppy- 11/2/05
Pages: 272
Series or Standalone? 1st in a series.

Summary (from GoodReads):
Popular Gossip Girl character Jenny Humphrey is leaving Constance Billard to attend Waverly Academy, an elite boarding school in New York horse country where glamorous rich kids don't let the rules get in the way of an excellent time. Jenny's determined to leave her crazy Manhattan past behind and become a sophisticated goddess on campus. But first shell have to contend with her self-absorbed roommates, Callie Vernon and Brett Messerschmidt. Hot guys, new intrigue, and more delicious gossip all add up to more trouble than ever for Jenny. But if getting caught with boys and going up against the Disciplinary Committee is what it takes, Jenny's ready. Shell do all that and more to be The It Girl.

My Review: The It-Girl is a fun, slightly trashy, guilty pleasure kind of read. The drama and scandal contained within, you just eat up like candy, while there is enough of slightly deeper stuff involving the characters' inner feelings to make it not completely trashy, and more of a worthwhile read.
When Hooked: Early-On. In the first chapter when we are introduced to Jenny, you are drawn in because of you know you either know her from The Gossip Girl series, or if not already familiar with her, you become curious to what the elusive boarding school she is about to attend will have instore for us.
Hookability: (8/10) The hook is a pretty good one. Not an "oh-my-god-I-NEED-to-know-what-happens-next" hook, but one where your drawn in early on, and are eager to see what kind of trouble the girls of Dumbarton will get themselves into next.
Writing: (8/10) The story is very engaging and flows well , and I am a fan of how the author is able to tell the story through each of the character's personal thoughts and actions. (As time passes the story will flip on who is narrating, and sometimes we get other character's takes on past events.) My only criticism is the writing doesn't really bring anything new to the table.
Characters: (8/10) I enjoyed the drama that sparked from each of the characters' different personalities, though I definitely liked some characters more than others. Jenny: She is likeable and probably the most 'real' which makes her the one you "root for" through it all. Callie: Move on with your life! The world is not going to stop if you don't have a boy toy. Brett: Really? I thought you were the smart one. Tsk, tsk, you should have stayed with Jeremiah. Easy: (Funny name) Very likeable, maybe not "loveable" but definitely likeable. He's cool even if he can be a bit of a jerk sometimes. Side note: I don't know why but I loved Brandon in this book.
Plot: (8/10) There really isn't a 'plot' to this series. There are lots of conflicts and events, but no central plot per se.
Originality: (7/10) A boarding school, a girl who is 'poor'/not a lot of money and goes to a place where there are dominantly rich kids and tries to fit in, the new girl suddenly becomes mega-popular; all these are all major themes of this book. And lets face it, these are all not one bit original. We've, or atleast I have, seen them a million different times. But in context with the other novels with these themes, the way it is told through the multiple persons is slightly unique.
Romance: (7.5/10) The sparks between Jenny and Easy are cute. They won't melt your heart, but they'll put a smile on your face.
Ending: (9/10) Cliff-hanger! Color me intrigued. Very unexpected surprise at end that will make you want to go and get the next book right away!
Remembrable: (6.5/10) You might remember the basics, or a bit more, but nothing that will "wow" you, making you remember every detail.
Recommendabilty: (7/10) This is hard. To a certain, select group of people who like slightly trashy books and don't mind certain possibly "inappropiate" content, then I recommend it to you. Those who read Gossip Girl series, and watch the show will probably love it! I have a feeling though that most people would either get offended, not be "allowed" to read this, or think that there are more "worthwhile" books to be read. Personally I think it's more like a fun, guilty pleasure, but to those about to pick up, uhm, you've been warned.
Any particular graphic/violent/"inappropiate" content? Drinking? YES! Lots of underage drinking references? Drugs? Yes. One occurance where someone is smoking, it was brief and was not dwelled on, but it was there. Violence? No. Sexual content? YES! This book doesn't stop at kissing, or even making out. It really doesn't even fade-to-black either. Its not graphic per se, but you definately get the idea. And there is A LOT of innuendos. I read this at age 12, the age I'm saying you should atleast be when reading this, but if I were to put myself in a parent's shoes I could see them making their kid be a bit older to read this.
Overall: (8.10/10)
Like I said this is a definite guilty pleasure read. I think there is a heck of a lot more quality YA books out there for the main intake of reading, but if in need of a private school guilty pleasure chalk full of drama, The It-Girl is for you!

Cover Comments: I like it, it has the right feel for the book. Nothing really special though. Though if you do have the whole series, or even a few of the books in the series, the spines look really cool all lined up together! (8/10)
Want more of the It-Girl series? There are currently 8 other books released in the series; Notrorious, Reckless, Unforgettable, Lucky, Tempted, Infamous, Adored, and Devious. The 10th book Classic will be released June 1, 2010!
Want more Cecily von Ziegesar? Try her Gossip Girl series; (in order) Gossip Girl, You Know You Love Me, All I Want Is Everything, Because I Worth It, I Like It Like That, Nobody Does It Better, Nothing Can Keep Us Together, Only In Your Dreams, It Had To Be You (prequel), Would I Lie To You, Don't You Forget About Me, I Will Always Love You. Or her Carlyles series: (in order) The Carlyles, You Just Can't Get Enough, Take A Chance On Me, Love The One You're With. Also, you can try the popular CW show Gossip Girl which is based off the GG books, even though mostly the improv all the stuff.

1 comment:

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Great review! I was totally addicted to the Gossip Girl series, so I naturally gravitated towards the IT Girl series. Jenny was definitely my favourite character (I loathe the show, fyi), but the book is tons of fun, and they get better :)