Gossip Girl – Psycho Killer by Cecily Von Ziegesar Review

Surprise, you thought I was done with the Gossip Girl reviews, well here is one more. This really will be the last one though I promise haha.

As soon as I found out this was a thing I wanted to read it. Like Gossip Girl but everyone is a serial killer? Sign me up.

This book is basically the first Gossip Girl rewritten as everyone is fighting to stay alive, as it seems everyone on the Upper East Side is dropping like a fly at the hands of our two favourite It Girls.

I really loved everything about this to be honest, I mean I think sometimes they tried too hard to fit in references to killers or blood or something gory whereas before it would reference fashion or glamour. But it was still an interesting take on the story.

I also love that this isn’t even fanfiction, this is just written by the author herself. What a queen.

My favourite thing is probably that Serena randomly took a notion to start killing people because they reminded her of Nate, and Blair, finding out Serena was a murderer decided that she too should murder people. Like it is a trend of some kind, crazy but also amazing.

So the story goes that Serena comes back into town, set on killing Nate because she realises that he is the one who has always gotten in the way of her friendship with Blair. And for them to be the bestest of friends it makes sense to kill the only thing standing between them.

Quickly though she realises that is a dumb idea, and then becomes jealous of Blair and her life once she finds out B is no longer interested in being her friend. So naturally it is time for Blair to die.

Meanwhile on the other side of things, B has decided that Serena must die because she thinks S is the one that ruined their friendship, and she was sick of seeing S be the center of attention with those adverts all over town with her.

So it is war.

Along the way, there are a lot of casualities. Although S may actually be the only one who isn’t killing just because. I mean most people in the Upper East Side were only killed by S because they knew more than they should have, for example Katy and Isobel who saw her sleeping with Nate, or that girl who saw Serena kill her brother (the girl’s not Serena’s). I mean she was only trying to protect herself…

Then there is Blair who is chaotic and will off anyone who even looks at her funny. I mean I can’t imagine seeing her just slicing a girl’s head off because she reminded her of Serena, but why not?

All the while none of them are getting caught, even by security cameras or witnesses as some of the murders happen in broad daylight, but I guess when you are rich and your family hates a scandal, it all gets swiped under the carpet.

Meanwhile there is Nate, who doesn’t kill anyone, but is pretty sure he has seen Blair do it, but he could have just been super high and tripping. So you never really know with him. Honestly he is not a big part of the book anymore when I think about it considering instead of trying to kill him, his two best girls are focused on killing each other lol.

Then there is Little J who is still in love with Serena, even if she is a serial killer, J thinks that’s a cool thing to be. Jenny also enjoys eating raw meat and there is less focus on her enormous chest this time around so yay for that?

Dan is still the same tortured poet, although this time he only writes haikus and also fantasizes about killing himself on a regular basis. What a mood. Also his poems are not as terrible as they were in original book? So that’s good haha.

Then Vanessa is making a film and is loving coming across all these dead bodies because it makes great footage for her. So that’s fun, I love that she isn’t questioning anything and just going with it.

Things come to a head at a brunch where Serena and Blair are fighting to the death basically, which I enjoy because we love a good girl smack down, especially when one of them ends up with a knife in their back. Literally.

I knew that neither B or S were going to really die because it would seem weird if it happened. Like where would we even go from there?

I also do feel that the story kind of lost its way towards the end, I know it was following the storyline of the first book for the most part but at some point you gotta know that when killing off all these people, the story was going to change. So while things ended at the Kiss Me or Die party I would have been okay if it ended differently.

Like I felt the book was destined to take a different direction towards the middle but it worked too hard to fit back into the confines of the original story at the end.

So things ended at the Kiss Me or Die party. Nate confessed he wanted to be with Blair, and only Blair. She seemed to accept this, B and S saw each other from across the room and drew their weapons but only for a second and decided against a killing spree in the middle of a party. So I guess it was a truce.

Dan and Serena find Jenny trapped in the bathroom with Chuck as they did before. Only this time, Chuck does not get away so easily, as Jenny, Dan and Serena take their turns inflicting pain on Chuck until he dies. And then they ride off into the night.

And that is where we leave our Upper East Siders, for good this time. I mean I’ll probably continue to binge the TV show from time to time but as for book reviews and blog posts this is it.

It has been a wild ride but I have enjoyed it a lot, and I’m glad I kept this one until last because it was something fun to end it.

So until next time,

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x

Weightless by Sarah Bannan Review

I bought this book like 5 years ago I’m pretty sure. It has sat on my bookshelf for that long. It sounded like my kind of thing, you know high school drama, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it and so finally I did.

It definitely was not what I was expecting. This book is all about the life of Carolyn Lessing, a girl who moved to a small town in Alabama but the point of view is not Carolyn’s.

The style is something that I’ve never read before. It was first person plural, and so the point of view of high school girls. Girls who weren’t super popular but wanted to be, people who saw Carolyn live her life and were secretly jealous. Spectators to what was going on around them but never interfered.

I have to say I kind of clocked what happened pretty quick. High school new girl, bullied and eventually commits suicide…

Definitely a new take on it though, with you feeling like you were one of those girls who just watched Carolyn get bullied, stood at the side lines and did nothing. It kind of brings me back to when I was at school, these things happen. We all just watch, we are all trying to be involved in everyone’s lives but when it really comes down to it, that’s all we do. When we see things happening we don’t intervene because we feel like it’s not our place, and then something happens and maybe we think it was our place to speak up.

The book probably would have made a bigger impact on me if I had actually read it 5 years ago, but I feel like after 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and everything this message has pretty much been drilled into me and stayed with me. Our actions have consequences, even if it’s no action at all.

I gotta say the book started to feel a little Lifetime movie to me towards the end, the whole aftermath of Carolyn’s passing, the media coverage, them arresting and trying to press charges against the bullies. Things I’ve definitely seen in a Lifetime movie about bullying before.

Still an interesting read, took a while to get used to the first person plural though. I also thought that maybe it dragged just a little, I think I would have preferred a little bit more time spent on the aftermath.

But now the book is done and I hope to never leave another book on my bookshelf unread for 5 years again lol.

~ Courtney x

I Will Always Love You by Cecily von Ziegesar Review

The final Gossip Girl book. 12 books in 4 months. Wild.

I hate to say this but why was the last book the best one? Like I’m not even kidding, this is like the way I’ve wanted the entire series. So this book is set over the course of four years, every year it focuses on New Year’s Eve and so much happens! I love it.

I feel like the pace of the books has been too slow for me, like the first 10 books span like the whole senior year of high school for everyone and then the prequel spans a good few months over and the timeline is confusing. Then there is this one which is clearly spaced out and the pacing was good and of course, there was lots of drama.

Sad it took them until the last book to get things going but I guess it’s nice to finally be at the end.

Anyway, let’s dive in because we have so much to cover! I think I’ll try to do it by year since that makes the most sense and everyone’s story kind of intertwines. You definitely need to grab a drink and a snack if you’re going to read all of this.

First of all, Blair is home for the holidays, sort of. She has finished up her first semester at Yale and has a new boyfriend, Pete. Cute. She spends Christmas with him and his family, assuming she would spend New Year’s with them on holiday too, until she finds out Pete’s family has a no ring, no bring rule about family holidays. So she packs her bags and heads of to New York to stay with Serena, she doesn’t have a choice when her family had moved out to LA. Plus her and Serena had kept in touch while she was at Yale.

Serena is a movie star, she just filmed the sequel to Breakfast at Fred’s and is living a kind of lonely life. She has movie star friends sure, but they were nothing compared to her old friends in high school. She is thrilled that Blair is in town but is jealous of her living her best life at Yale, so also pretends she is living the good life.

The two of them agree to go to Chuck’s New Year’s party that he throws every year at the Tribeca Star Hotel, but Serena has to stop at Thad’s (her gay costar from the movie) New Year’s party first. Serena did invite Blair but Blair didn’t want to accept a pity invite from movie star Serena van der Woodsen.

Serena ends up spending a little too much time at Thad’s and Blair is pissed. Of course Serena would ditch her and she would have to spend time at this party where most people are in high school. So gross.

Surprisingly though there is one familiar face…Nate. Our favourite stoner, who surprisingly isn’t all that stoned. He is back after sailing around with Chips for a few months, but Chips surprised him by saying he was headed off to chill and enjoy retirement while Nate went back to his old life. He couldn’t avoid it forever.

Nate and Blair end up falling into bed – just like old times! And Nate is like “yes this is where I’m meant to be, with Blair.” Cue eye rolls because this is classic Nate. He even agrees that he should go to Yale with her because he doesn’t know what else to do.

Later that day, Blair gets a call from Tiffany saying there is a package for her, and of course she’s excited because who wouldn’t be about getting a call from Tiffany? So she goes to the store to find Pete there with a ring – like is he proposing? He is definitely not proposing but he thought if he got her a ring he could bring her on holiday. How cute! Sadly Blair turns him down because she has Nate back and they are going to live the perfect life together, so she doesn’t need Pete anymore.

Sadly the perfect life doesn’t last long for her because Serena finds out about them being together and that Nate is going to Yale too. She is not happy about this so she decides to remind Blair about her boyfriend, Blair gets angry with her and they start fighting. Classic love triangle issues. I wish I could be mad about the love triangle but at this point I’m going with it, it’s the last book so why not?

Nate is mad that the girls have been fighting over him this way, he seems to always come between them so he takes off. He decides to go off to this farm school in California where Chuck ended up going, leaving the girls on their own. Blair decides she can’t be friends with Serena anymore because she seemingly ruins everything for Blair. And I guess that is the end of that…

Side note on Chuck: he didn’t get into any of the colleges he applied to so he was sent away to this weird farming school and has suddenly become a completely different person. Nate saw the change in Chuck and thought maybe the school would be good for him too. Seems weird but okay we go with it.

Meanwhile, Dan is home from Washington and realised he missed Vanessa the whole time. The two of them were able to keep up long distance but Dan decided he couldn’t take it anymore. So he decided to transfer to Columbia to be with Vanessa.

Vanessa on the other hand had been getting along well at NYU, and was surprised about Dan wanting to come back to the city. She was excited at first but she wasn’t sure about them living together again because we all know how well that went…

But it’s fine because we don’t get to see how it pans out because Vanessa ends up cheating on Dan with her old TA Hollis from college. And am I even surprised? Dan cheated on her way back in the day so it’s only fair Vanessa gets a shot. Dan is angry and tells her to move out.

And that is it for year one…

I was surprised about Dan and Vanessa not wanting to speak because they have always been friends in some way after something between them happens. But they keep their distance.

In the next year we discover than Dan has been living his life at Columbia but failing at being a poet. He is on a deadline for one of his classes but he hasn’t been inspired at all, so he decides to submit one of his old poems and calls it ‘Serena’.

Serena, ends up at the New Year’s party at Chuck’s and this time, she is the one that ends up seeing Nate and hooking up with him. Not surprised. But after they hook up, Nate brings up Blair and Serena realises he is always going to love her, so she ditches Nate in her apartment.

Later Serena discovers Dan’s poem and she decides to reach out to him. Her previous relationship with Dan originally was so shitty, not like the TV show where they were always on and off. So I was surprised when they reconciled again, but then again I guess Serena was lonely and flattered that someone was thinking of her – not like the rest of the world wasn’t but they didn’t write her a poem…

Blair this New Year’s is going through A LOT. First off, she ended up back together with Pete at Yale and so she is excited to bring him to New York and introduce him to her old friends so naturally she brings him to Chuck’s party. This is when she sees Nate and Serena together and she freaks out and insists they leave.

I guess it’s one thing to live a perfect life and pretend S and N don’t exist when you are at uni but to see them in real life is something else. Pete is confused as to why Blair was freaking out and asks her what’s wrong, she finally decides to tell Pete about hooking up with Nate last New Year’s Eve and he storms off to stay with a cousin to clear his mind.

Blair ends up holed up in her hotel room for most of the new year, only leaving to try and do some shopping and have some retail therapy. Sadly while she is in Barney’s she ends up running into Serena because it seems like Manhattan is the smallest place in the world. She is obviously angry with Serena and leaves to go back to her hotel room.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Blair so off the rails but then again, her best friend is no longer her friend, her ex Nate is someone she can no longer trust and her current boyfriend might have dumped her too. Not cute.

Then one night, Nate is stoned and decides to sneak into Blair’s hotel room and surprise her. I thought this was kind of creepy considering she is staying in a hotel and he didn’t know the room number or have a key. Sadly for Blair this is when Pete comes back and sees them together and breaks up with Blair for good. B is furious and tells Nate to get out too. Definitely not a good start to the year with Blair.

Not to mention Serena saying she is going to go to Yale because she thinks it might be the place to go to find herself. So Blair once again makes it clear to S that their friendship is well and truly dead.

Meanwhile there is Vanessa who ended up shacking up with Hollis and is having a fab time in a fancy Brooklyn apartment. Hollis has this idea that they need to make a movie of her life cause it sounds so wild – which to be fair some crazy things have happened to her over the years… but at the same time is weird to think about because most of it would just be her breaking up and making up with Dan haha.

So Hollis takes her to a meeting with a production company but the company want to make a completely different movie, Vanessa is not pleased and storms out of the meeting but Hollis is all on board for this new idea. Of course he’s a sell out.

He wins Vanessa over again though saying she needed to make her movie her way and he purposely didn’t want them to make a shitty version of it. Yeah, right he just wants to be famous…so he leaves to go film on location in Iceland or somewhere like that and leaves Vanessa alone with a new puppy. I’m surprised she agreed to stay, I thought she would have left, she has walked on Dan for a lot less…

Moving right along to year 3 – this one I really love.

So Serena and Dan have started seeing each other, she is at Yale and he is at Columbia. Serena travels down to see him every weekend and can’t bare to be away from him during the week. I think it’s cute but at the same time still weird because they are not the same Dan and Serena from the TV show so there is nothing about this relationship that really makes sense. Not that it was great on TV either but Dan isn’t as dark and dramatic on TV haha.

They decide to take Jenny on college visits because she is just about to graduate high school – time flies when everyone else has drama. They end up at RISD and Jenny also makes a stop at Brown where we run into our favourite guy, Nate.

He is in town looking at campuses because he has finished at his college in California. So needed a new plan. When he saw Jenny I think it was kind of decided he would go to Brown to be near her while she went to RISD.

Jenny offers Nate a ride back to the city with Dan and Serena but Dan is not thrilled about this considering Nate and Jenny dated for like five minutes years ago and broke her heart. Not to mention that Nate and Serena always had a wild past.

Dan gets overruled on his decision by Serena and they are about set off back to New York when the snow starts. They decide to go to a hotel but Serena thinks it’s a good idea to go to Blair’s house in Newport instead – because breaking into your ex friend’s house on the holidays is always a good idea lol.

To their surprise it turns out Blair was actually at her Newport house for the holidays. She was spending time with her Dad and his partner and their children. She was also spending it with her new boyfriend Chuck Bass.

Oh yeah you heard me. So after Chuck reformed when he went off to California he had comforted Blair at the end of last year and so the two ended up together when Blair was studying abroad. It seems super weird for the books to play this out – sure it was a thing on TV but the TV show played it as an epic love. It is just random in the book but we go along with it.

Blair is furious to find her friends have shown up at her doorstep because she can’t just have anything to herself anymore. She tries to put up a good front for her dad and Chuck but deep down she just wants them to leave so she can enjoy the holiday season.

Over the few days they are snowed in at Blair’s, she begins to soften and they all end up reminiscing about high school over dinner. It’s a simple scene but it is super cute. I love that they were able to bond and enjoy each other’s company instead of getting at each other’s throats.

They then decide to take it outside and go sledding because that’s the adult thing to do. It sounds like lots of fun and is real cute but Blair gets antsy watching Jenny cosying up to Nate so goes to bed.

The only person who was not having a good time reminiscing was Dan, he was never a part of the world S, N and B shared and so he sat there in the corner sulking. Classic Dan. He doesn’t go sledding either, instead he opts to sit in the library where he ends up texting Vanessa.

Dan and Vanessa haven’t spoken in two years now, and I find that weird because they always know how to patch things up. But Vanessa has been so lonely with Hollis leaving that she is glad to hear from her old friend. So they continue texting throughout the night.

While everyone is in bed, it seems like while the boys are sleeping, all the girls are drawn to a certain bedroom…Blair feels like she needs to be with Nate one last time, Serena also feels she needs to be with Nate because seeing him with Jenny was weird and of course Jenny wants to see Nate because she plans to lose her virginity to him. Wow. He’s so popular with the ladies, how does he do it?

Luckily for Jenny, Blair catches Serena on the way to Nate’s and they both won’t admit that they want to see him so both reluctantly go to bed. This paves the way for Jenny to slink in and finally be with the guy of her dreams.

The next day, B and S are yelling at each other again for both trying to land Nate. This causes their boyfriends to be a bit wary and so the gang pack up and leave Blair to enjoy what’s left of her holiday alone.

Hollis comes back to surprise Vanessa but spends most of his time away doing movie things, he discovers the texts on Vanessa’s phone and is pissed. Though he doesn’t really have a right too since he is the one that packed up and went to make a film and ignored Vanessa the whole time he was back. It’s safe to say they end up breaking up…

And this brings us to our final year with the gang. They are all set to be graduating, well Nate and Jenny still have some time to go but even Serena who had only been at Yale for two years is scrambling to graduate. Our girl’s got brains.

So Blair is back in the city having some weird holiday party with her mum because I guess they’ve moved back to New York for a bit. Chuck is not with her because he is flying in the day after and she is feeling very lonely at this sucky holiday party.

She is not alone for long as Serena appears, as always looking fabulous. Dan is not with her because she didn’t know he could be. Blair’s plan is to ignore Serena because she always ruins B’s holiday plans, I mean isn’t it wild the past 3 years she has tried to escape her but every time she has come around and appeared? Talk about annoying.

Next thing you know Nate is also appearing – I guess this makes sense when Blair’s mum invites all their parents along but still…what she was not expecting to see was Jenny Humphrey attached to Nate’s arm.

Turns out those two had gotten together and were living the married life at college. They even had a gross nickname for each other ‘meow’ which Blair and Serena have no choice but to make fun of. They both end up excusing themselves from dinner because they are laughing so much like old times. It’s good to see them when they’re not fighting, and when I look back I know 90% of the fighting could have been avoided if Blair wasn’t overreacting, but I guess then she wouldn’t be our B.

Back at the Humphrey residence, Vanessa has found out she has gotten into a film thing in Indonesia and she is super excited about it. After she broke up with Hollis she had nowhere to really turn to except the Humphreys, and it’s not like they would kick her out. She spent most of her time avoiding Dan and Serena when they were together but Dan was by himself as Serena was out.

So Dan and Vanessa decide to go out and celebrate Vanessa’s good news. Dan had some news of his own, he is going to some writing thing in Iowa and is super excited, he is not sure what Serena’s plans are but his are set…because all that matters is Dan in his head.

The two of them end up hooking up which is not a surprise given that the usually end up together. I think I was surprised it didn’t happen sooner, even with Serena in the picture. But Vanessa felt bad about the incident and didn’t want Serena to find out, especially when she was leaving and S would still be around for Dan.

Serena had plans originally to follow Dan to Iowa, she didn’t really know what else to do with herself and it just seemed like the thing to do, but as she was about to tell Dan of her plans he broke up with her. He felt it was the right thing to do because he really wanted to be with Vanessa. Sure she was leaving but he could wait for her…though that seems a little doubtful.

Meanwhile, Jenny and Nate have plans to see the Nutcracker together and Jenny is super excited about it, however Nate doesn’t seem to thrilled. He used to go to the Nutcracker every year with Blair and he was usually high when he did, I guess he discovered that the show is not nearly as good as it is when you are half out of it.

They end up home early and Nate has fallen asleep so Jenny decides to call up her old friend Elise to go clubbing because she was invited out by Blair’s younger brother. I guess the most shocking transformation out of anyone was that Blair’s little brother Tyler, actually did grow up and become a DJ. You thought it was kind of stupid when you read about it but the boy really did the thing. Good for him.

This is when Jenny realises that her and Nate have been acting like old people, staying in their uni house every night eating takeout and hiding away from the world. She had plenty of time for that but for right now she needed to be young and have fun. So she ends up breaking up with Nate.

I didn’t expect Nate to become so domestic after getting with Jenny, but I suppose it was the nice easy thing to do compared to being with people like Blair and Serena who always had events on that he had to dress up for. Still, I never expected him to be so settled and boring.

That same night, Blair and Serena meet up to have drinks because they are friends again and that’s cute. But they decide they are missing a very important piece of their night and that is Nate. I was worried this was headed down an ugly route because the pattern of those three on New Year’s always goes that way…but surprisingly for everyone things stay strictly platonic.

B and S break into Nate’s house to find him asleep and ditched by Jenny, but the girls race past him to his room to grab drinks and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s just like old times. Nate wakes up after hearing the noise and finds the two girls in his bed. He’s not one for turning down two beautiful girls in bed so he ends up joining them. Super cute. We love that for them.

The next day Blair is having brunch with Chuck and she has to tell him that she thinks things between them are moving too fast. For Christmas he surprised her with an apartment and his mother had been talking about children. Blair was so not ready for that life and ends up breaking up with Chuck. I definitely thought it would have lasted, I mean technically that is the life B has always wanted but I guess she realised there was more to life than it being perfect like the movies. We love some character growth.

With B and C broken up, Chuck decides to throw his signature New Year’s Eve party once more.

B and S go to the party together and are chilling in the hot tub when S gets a message from Nate. Serena gets excited and leaps out of the hot tub and down to find Nate. After breaking up with Dan she decides what she really needs is to travel and see the world and perhaps Nate is just the partner to do it with.

A second later, Blair receives the same text message from Nate and is furious with Serena for ditching her for him again, so she races after her.

Just as S is about ask Nate to go with her, she realises that he is not the right one she needs to go with. Blair arrives and is about to tear S a new one but S cuts in and asks her to go travelling with her. B is excited thinking about how they never got to travel Europe the summer they originally planned because of the love triangle situation. But S is clear that it is a girl’s trip and N is not invited.

The two girls drive off into the night, leaving Nate by himself. I am glad that this is how they ended it. I didn’t need all this back and forth with Nate again.

That being said I wish they had more of S and B choosing each other over Nate, it seemed no matter what they were always thinking about him but never about their friendship without him.

But yeah…that is the end of the Gossip Girl series. Like I said, this was probably the best book out of all of them.

There was lots of nostalgia and it I enjoyed all the drama that came with every New Year’s celebration. It kept me wondering what could possibly happen next. That and I guess I always get a bit soppy when I finish a book series.

I think I’m just glad that the series ended on a high note because it got a bit rocky towards the end, but this book is exactly what we needed. So yay for that.

Now I’m off to rest and think about what’s next on my reading list. Part of me wants to jump straight in with something like Pretty Little Liars, but at the same time I think I need to step away from the long books series’ for a while, they can be tiring to get through. But, whatever I decide to read you know I’ll be back soon enough to review it.

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x

It Had To Be You by Cecily Von Ziegesar Review

Time for a throwback…all the way back to the beginning of the Gossip Girl series with a prequel.

If you’re wondering why I waited this long to read this, it’s because I’m just reading them in the order they were released/Wikipedia had them. But you could definitely read this as the very first book in the series and it would fit in.

In this book we get the origin stories of how our lovely Upper East Siders came to be. Why Vanessa shaves her head, how Dan became a poet, how Nate became a stoner, how the big Nate, Serena and Blair love triangle came about and even about Jenny developing her massive chest. It’s all wild and it’s all right here.

Sadly the only origin story we don’t get is Gossip Girl herself. As far as I know she doesn’t reveal her identity in the books which I think is probably for the best. The TV show did a terrible reveal and I didn’t like it. I mean seriously. DAN HUMPHREY? As if. Especially in the books he could never be Gossip Girl lol.

Anyway that’s a rant for a whole other day. Let’s dive into this book shall we?

Starting off with Blair, our B. Gotta love her. So this is before she is with Nate and obviously all she is thinking about is being with him. She’s had a crush on him forever and feels like she’s gonna explode if he doesn’t marry her.

To save some time and explaining her scheming I’ll just let you know her and Nate do get together. But all Nate wants is to have sex and he thinks he is gonna get it from Blair because she loves him and he loves her so like it’s a no brainer.

As if. B begins to string Nate along and telling him she’s not ready but they can do it in summer, or after summer, or christmas…and you get where I’m going. Poor guy. Just wants to get laid lol. But I enjoy Blair being sneaky and manipulative. It’s the Blair we all know and love.

On top of that we discover the ruby ring she is so fond of was a gift from Nate. This is also when I realise that the ring hadn’t been mentioned much in the last few books and when it was it seemed out of place. Again, the effects of a ghostwriter. (I know I always sound negative about the ghostwriter but like there are just certain things you notice when suddenly a different person is writing the books).

We also discover she doesn’t handle the news about her father leaving her family for a gay man and so this is where her bulimia comes from. The book handles it in a kind of cast offish way which it has always done. Like oh Blair just went to throw up, she felt like she was gonna vomit hearing news she didn’t like. That kind of thing, definitely wouldn’t fly with that kind of writing now but I guess in 2007 it was chill.

Thankfully somewhere along the line Blair just stops throwing up. I don’t remember when but I feel like it hasn’t been mentioned in the books for ages so I guess she magically recovers. Kind of like how on TV they showed it like one time and forgot about it.

Time to move along to Serena. Our golden girl. Who is also madly in love with Nate. I guess they planted this love triangle early. And that’s fine. It was written a less annoying this time and plus this was the beginning, way before everything else so it’s fine.

Turns our Blair was not the first to kiss Nate. It was S. They kiss in bed while Blair is sleeping right next to them. So romantic lol. But this is when Serena knows for sure she loves him and Nate loves her back.

Serena was planning to tell Blair this but when she saw how Blair’s family was falling apart she thought the least she could do was let her have Nate. Even though it killed S to see her two best friends get together.

It was interesting to see Serena’s martyr act thinking she was the lost selfless person ever. But it got old real fast, like we get that you are heartbroken but time to move onto bigger and better things.

I can understand why she was pissed at Nate for just choosing Blair after they kissed and everything, but can she really fault Blair if she didn’t know S loved Nate too?

Anyway yeah I was kind of over Serena in this one. Just pining after Nate while also being a shitty friend to him and Blair. Not cute.

That being said, we did find out about how Nate “parted S’s red sea”. I mean we already knew because they’ve talked about it in previous books but in case you needed to relive it, it’s right there.

After all that goes down Serena realises she shouldn’t have slept with Nate because he is with Blair. But at the same time she is not going to stick around and watch them be in love anymore so that’s why she decides to go to boarding school. Which is kind of lame but then again it’s selfless Serena, leaving to let her two friends be happy.

Then we have Nate. And while the girls have been passing him back and forth like a game, it’s not like he hasn’t been responsible. In fact when you get right down to it, Nate is just a dick lol.

First he kisses Serena, then Blair kisses him and he decides to be with her, but once she doesn’t wanna have sex with him he decides to call up Serena and they have sex, then Blair comes back into town and he’s like “right my girlfriend”. I mean he’s trash hahaha. Sure Nate in the TV show is kind of trashy too but he is also cute in that he doesn’t mean to hurt people’s feelings and he isn’t a stoner on TV.

But yeah I guess the gist is with Nate is that he’s horny and helpless when it comes to pretty girls. He wasn’t even gonna get with Blair or Serena to begin with his was after some other girl that introduced him to weed. He liked how he felt and then just jumped in head first to become a fulltime stoner.

Safe to say him and the first girl didn’t work out. And he thought Serena wasn’t interested in him anymore when he saw her go kiss Chuck at a party. Even though she only went over there for Blair’s benefit. Not that Nate would know that. Which is how he needed up with Blair.

Nate can be kind of cute when he wants to be because when he gets with Blair he works hard to distract her from her crappy family and buys her pretty things from Tiffany we love that. But at the same time he isn’t getting any for her so the only logical thing would be to call Serena.

To be fair he only wanted to see her at first because he hadn’t seen his friend for forever but then they had sex and well…we all know the rest.

I will still stand by Nate being trash for jumping between the too. I guess the best thing he ever did was leave them both and sail around the world…

Moving on down to Brooklyn and the Upper West Side.

Dan and Jenny. Turns out both the Humphreys have an unhealthy obsession with S. Who can blame them when she is so perfect.

I think I was shocked by Jenny more just because I didn’t know her obsession ran so deep. Literally her stealing Serena’s bra and drawing all those pictures of her and everything. Crazy.

Plus in this book Jenny was twelve haha and obsessed with wanting to grow her boobs. She didn’t know she would end up with the chest she would. But at the time she was desperate to make them grow and so she ordered breast enhancement supplements lol.

It’s also kind of weird how she insisted on showing Dan the progress of her boob growth. Like I guess they are super close because they don’t have a mum but there are just some things you shouldn’t share with your brother. You should also never ask him to measure your boobs but that is a thing that happens too. Wild.

Over time Jenny’s boobs do grow. She stopped taking the supplements after like a week because Vanessa told her that she would grow naturally anyway. It’s just kind of funny she wanted them anyway. Plus she goes from loving her boobs to hating them real quick. So I guess you can never win.

So yeah…that was Jenny. Then we have Vanessa who joined Constance and had a full head of hair. I can’t believe it either. She decides that she needs to do something shocking to stand out from the girls at her school and what better way to do that than to shave your head. Not to mention Blair was with her at the time, cute.

Vanessa and Dan become friends after both getting locked out on the roof at a party and Vanessa instantly takes a liking to Dan. She knew he was different like her so maybe they could be friends, or more than that. It turns out Vanessa really loved Dan at the first sight of him and even tried to kiss him at one point.

It is kind of cute to see Vanessa wanting to be with Dan this way. In the other books she seems kind of edgy but in this one she is niave and just wants Dan to like her back. Well, until she finds out he’s like everyone else, in love with Serena. Then she’s mad. Who wouldn’t be?

I get that she was upset with Dan but at the same time she was definitely trying too hard haha I’m glad they friends though. The book talks about her being really into photography but not film making so I guess that comes after…I guess it’s not a huge leap from photography to film making. But I’m surprised it’s not mentioned.

Anyway moving on to, last but not least, Dan. Turns out he wasn’t always a smoking, depressed poet. But he always drank his coffee by the bucket load. So Dan is over here obsessing about Serena, wondering if she will ever remember him from that one party they were both at. Rufus, his dad is over Dan’s moping and suggests that he try poetry to express his feelings.

This lightbulb moment happens and suddenly Dan thinks, yes, that’s it. He writes some words down and decides he is a poet. His muse is Serena and he will write her all these love poems and she will read them and when she finds out it is him she will fall in love with him and they’ll live happily ever after. As if.

His poems are obviously super terrible, but he decides to give one to Jenny to slip into Serena’s locker anyway. She reads it and thinks it’s dark and kind of cool someone would write poetry for her but she is not fussed on finding out who wrote it. Let’s be real the girl probably gets millions of letters and poems from admirers, Dan will have to step up his game.

Dan also decides after he meets Vanessa to randomly start smoking. I guess he thought it went with his dark poet vibe. And so, this Dan we all know and kind of like was born.

Honestly not surprised that he just fell into poetry and smoking. That kind of sums up his life, maybe he is not so different from Nate. I mean he fell into poetry and it stuck, he went along with being with Vanessa and that was cool, he also just went with the flow when he was doing yoga with that one girl for some time…he even fell into being gay and out again haha. Dan doesn’t make decisions for himself, people make them for him, it’s only right his dad recommend he become a poet and he did. Plus Nate is the same, he just smokes weed and goes with the flow.

But yeah, after Vanessa finds out about Dan obsessing with Serena she is not too thrilled so they don’t talk for a while. It is actually Jenny who has to tell Dan that he should apologise to Vanessa because he could use a friend and social interaction. I guess it’s cute Jenny is looking out for him. So he goes to apologise to Vanessa and it looks like those two patch things up.

And that brings us to the end of the Gossip Girl prequel! This was cute. I feel like I would have appreciated it more if I wasn’t so jaded after the last few books. Anyway, one more book and we can be done with this series! Yes I know there is the spin off and also the It Girl book series about Jenny but I definitely need to read something new after being wrapped up in this world for a few months.

I think I’ll be glad to finish this series, it’s been a fun run but towards the end it just kind of got meh. Let’s hope the last book will allow us to finish on a high note.

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x

Don’t You Forget About Me by Cecily von Ziegesar Review

The last book, minus the prequel and the time jump sequel. We are finally going to know how the last of the summer went before everyone goes off to college…or doesn’t. I gotta say this summer has dragged on forever and I’m kind of glad it is over.

Now…where to begin?

I think back with Dan actually, I know I like to talk about Blair but we will get to her later. Dan has been annoying me so much again. Sure his gay thing was kind of funny in the last book, but now? I’m over it.

He is still so confused in this book as to what he is and even though he told everyone he was gay…he doesn’t really feel it. But he thinks he should be since apparently everyone in his life kind of suspected that he was. So in typical Dan fashion he just kind of goes with it. Until he once again realises that he should be with Vanessa – because you know that’s how these things go. Dan gets with Vanessa, he hates it and breaks up with her, he dates someone else (regardless of gender I guess), and then realises Vanessa is the one. Honestly. Almost as worse as Nate Archibald, but not quite…

So yeah Dan isn’t gay. What a revelation. Him and Vanessa get back together. I’m over it. Next. I mean I’m still surprised he is not all caught up in Serena again like he was in the TV show, but at the same time I was kind of relieved that didn’t have their on-again off-again thing. Except he did have that just with Vanessa. I don’t know. At least him and Vanessa are similar, whereas he and Serena aren’t so like it does make more sense for him to be with her…

Speaking of Vanessa – her sister is getting married! Random but sure why not. I was not really sure where this whole wedding thing was going but turns out it wasn’t a big deal it was just something to happen in Vanessa’s life. Cool.

Vanessa is struggling with her feelings with Dan (again) because he says he’s gay and she’s trying to respect that but at the same time she wants to be with him. And they both are reading each other’s actions, interpreting them wrong and decide not to talk to each other when the easiest solution would be to just talk? Honestly rolling my eyes at them every time, if they were good friends then they should be able to talk about things in the first place but I guess that’s not a thing? I suppose as artists they should just be able to interpret their feelings by looking at one another…but no such luck.

Also in this book Vanessa randomly decides to get a makeover from Blair which is kind of cute. I do wish they had amped up their friendship on the TV show because it is unlikely but I did like it. OMG I just remembered they roomed together in NYU on the TV show so technically that is the same as the book…but that being said they never became friends on the show. Oh well.

Side note: Jenny came back in the end but nothing really important came of it. I missed her being around but I suppose she has no use to scheme or anything when she’s going to boarding school like she wanted to reinvent herself like Serena did. Plus summering in Europe is the best way to come back to school with an air of mystery. So yay for Little J.

Moving onto the Blair, Nate, Serena love triangle…I’m just gonna put it out there – I hated this. So much. I don’t even know why because this did kind of happen in the TV show and like it has happened in the book before but like…some part of me thought we were done with it. So the fact it has come up like this again and also so strongly…I can’t. I mean I said before I thought Serena had only loved Nate as a friend and we were good with that – but I guess not?

So Blair and Nate come back from their month long boat trip and things are great, until Nate finally tells her he is not going to Yale and Blair is angry with him for ruining her dreams. Hey – we have not heard about her wanting to live her best Audrey Hepburn life in a while…must be the ghost writer.

Anyway since Blair is mad at Nate he decides to turn to the only other person in Manhattan he seems to feel close with – Serena. Somehow they end up falling into bed together and everything is just perfect again. Serena tells Nate how she feels and he agrees – he does love Serena. I’m over here shaking my head because he literally stole Viagra because he couldn’t get it up for S a few books ago but sure…

Continuing on Serena’s movie (remember that thing) has its release date moved up so she has to do a press conference for it and this is where it is revealed that the director wants to film a sequel with our leading lady S of course. This is where Serena thinks that maybe Yale isn’t for her and she should defer for a year so she can do some acting. Because let’s be real – Serena doesn’t plan for the future. She just goes with the flow and is up for anything.

Looks like Nate will also end up staying in the city next year because he bailed on his summer job with Coach and so will have to repeat his senior year of high school. Ouch. Though with this news, S thinks it makes sense to stay in the city so that she can go on and have a real relationship with Nate. And N, thinking he can have his cake and eat it too thinks maybe staying in the city wouldn’t be too bad with S around. He could see her on the weekdays and be with B in Yale on weekends. Sneaky.

Too bad for Blair though who is planning to do everything she can to keep Nate with her and away from Serena and the city. She doesn’t know they slept together but it is only a matter of time before that comes out right? B has these visions of Nate and her being together in New Haven living the practically-married life she had always imagined for them. Nate can just travel up and down from Yale to school everyday – easy.

Things all come to a head at B’s going away party held at the MET. We find out that B got her dad to have a word with Yale and now Nate can go with her to New Haven and they can live the perfect life. Too bad Serena is planning on breaking B’s heart because her and Nate are finally going to be together like they’ve always wanted…with Nate Archibald in the middle stoned and thinking what’s a guy to do? He has to choose.

Nate’s decision is to not choose either of them at all. He realises that he has always been there with both of them, and coming between both of them that maybe he should just remove himself from the picture entirely.

And so with that we have B and S, friends once more. B headed off to Yale, S going on to persue her acting, Vanessa in NYU going back to filmmaking an Dan headed off to whatever college he decided on…

I’m not going to lie the ending is kind of cute, I never saw it ending badly, everyone was going to have a good ending. But at the same time it bugs me a little bit that Nate just copped out of a decision but it makes sense for him because he’s Nate.

As for S and B, well I didn’t expect either of them to be too mad at the other one for long because they have always been the bestest of friends. Nothing can come between them, even Nate though he tries and sometimes succeeds.

Side note: love that they are setting up for the spin-off books with the mention of the Carlyles – I don’t think I will read those. But if I ever do it will probably be a while before I get to them, I am a little bit excited to step away from this world of the Upper East Side.

I feel like I purposely have disliked the last few books because they were ghost written. I mean part of it is that even though it is mostly the same style as the novels there is a slight difference and I feel like I felt it. Or maybe I’m just being dramatic lol. But at least the next couple books are written by the actual author, so let’s see if we can end it on a high note.

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x

American Royals by Katharine McGee Review

A full book review on something not Gossip Girl? I’m surprised too.

So this is American Royals, which might as well be Gossip Girl if they were royalty haha. In case you couldn’t tell I do love a good bit of drama in my books.

This one took me a while to get into though because I was thrown in the deep end with like six characters I didn’t know and new point of view’s every chapter so a girl needed a minute to be like – who is that? Once we got that down things became a lot easier.

So I’m going to break it down for you real quick here before we dive in haha:

  • Beatrice: The first in line for the throne
  • Sam: Beatrice’s younger sister
  • Jeff: Sam’s twin brother
  • Nina: Sam’s best friend who has a crush on Jeff
  • Daphne: Used to date Jeff, wants to be a royal
  • Connor: Beatrice’s security detail but also is in love with her
  • Teddy: Beatrice’s potential husband but has feelings for Sam

Okay so they are the main players, even from my bullet points I feel like you can tell a lot from them haha.

Let’s start with Beatrice, the first in line for the throne. Always prim and proper and does the right thing…until she falls in love with her bodyguard. Well, I saw this coming a mile away with the way the story was written. You just knew Connor was in love with her and it was only a matter of time before she fell too. I ship it.

Sadly though they could never be together, not when Beatrice is up to be Queen. Not only that but the first Queen ever. Because they had a rule that the successor was always meant to be male because you know…that’s always a thing.

Also it’s super weird to read about if America had royalty. Like adjusting to this, me forgetting it’s not set in England and isn’t about the British haha. But it’s good, better to keep it fictional. I also find it fun how I’m reading about American royal drama when currently there’s real British royal drama with Prince Harry and Meghan but like we didn’t come here to talk about that. I just felt the need to say it was a weird coincidence I would read about this when actual royalty is getting so much attention right now.

Anyway yeah so Beatrice is gonna be Queen and it’s going to happen sooner than she thought because the King has stage four cancer. Not good. Plus not only that but she is being pressured into finding a husband because it would make it easier for America to adjust to the idea of a Queen if she had a King. Cue: Teddy.

Teddy is introduced at the ball and he is the only one of Beatrice’s potential suitors that she can really tolerate. They both come from a mutual place of understanding when it comes to what is expected of them making them the perfect couple. At least it would appear that way.

Before Beatrice had met Teddy he had actually run into Sam first and they had a moment together, kissed and everything. So scandalous. Obviously Sam wasn’t too thrilled to find out about Beatrice and Teddy but we will get to that.

Beatrice actually isn’t too thrilled about her relationship with Teddy either as she and her bodyguard Connor have admitted their feelings for one another and are sneaking around. Keeping everything pretty PG though.

Next thing you know, Beatrice has run out of time and has proposed to Teddy. This is obviously not the news Connor expected to hear and so he proposes to Beatrice right after her announcement. I was expecting her to go with her heart and accept Connor’s proposal but she declines! She accepts Connor’s resignation and continues on with her planning of the wedding.

Honestly, props to Beatrice for wanting to serve her country, but at the same time part of me wonders if things begin to fall apart once the actual wedding day arrives…

Moving onto Sam, who is always feeling invisible and like the “spare” child. She is next in line to the throne and she feels like that’s all people see her as. She is jealous of all the attention that is brought down on Beatrice but does not understand the pressure her sister is under.

However, the two do end up having a cute heart to heart moment in the kitchen so I think they’re relationship is on the mend.

Sam is also BFF’s with Nina who she has known since she was little. Nina is not a royal but her mother worked for them so she grew up basically as part of the family. However now that Nina is in uni she tends to keep her relationship with Sam on the DL so no one knows.

This was all working well for Nina until she starts dating Jeff, Sam’s brother. I saw it coming from the way the book is written – it tries to act like there was all this drama going on between Jeff, his ex – Daphne, and Nina but I clocked that Nina totally hooked up with Jeff ASAP – you know I love the drama.

Anyway Nina starts dating Jeff in secret and it is going well until the press finds out about them and everyone starts calling Nina a social-climbing gold-digger. All this comes down on her courtesy of Daphne, Jeff’s ex.

After Nina ignores Jeff for a couple weeks he decides to go and talk to her and they believe they can make it work. For about five minutes. Nina is very insecure about her relationship with Jeff so when Daphne talks to her and explains she will never fit in, well that seems to be the end of her and Jeff.

I was surprised that Nina gave up on Jeff again so quickly but it really annoyed me when he didn’t believe Nina about Daphne being the one to leak photos to the press etc. Then again Jeff is kind of an idiot haha. I feel like he doesn’t want to put effort into his relationship to make it work and maybe being with Daphne would be easier for him…

Speaking of Daphne. I do kind of love her character. She was dating Jeff until he dumped her and now she is doing everything to get him back. She has been working her whole life to become a royal and it is a lot of pressure. I also keep forgetting how young she is because honestly she sounds like she’s 23 but she’s only like 18.

As determined as Daphne is to be an adult, she doesn’t have together all the time. Even though she is trying to get back with Jefferson she can’t deny she may have real feelings for his best friend Ethan.

Ethan can see right through Daphne and her schemes and she really enjoys the fact that there is someone out there that can see the real her. It’s only a matter of time before her facade slips in front of Jefferson and he finds out who she really is. At least I hope so.

Not to mention Daphne is so ruthless that she DRUGGED her own best friend to stop her from spilling the tea about her and Ethan to Jefferson. That is why her friend is in a coma. Like damn. I knew she did something, that was obvious but who knew it was this, I thought she just pushed the girl down the stairs haha.

Can’t wait ’til Himari comes out of that coma girl.

Anyway, everything comes to a head at the big engagement party for Teddy and Beatrice. This is when Beatrice realises that she cannot go through with this engagement and wants to call of the wedding. Hallelujah, she has come to her senses.

Connor finds Beatrice at the engagement party and Beatrice realises that he is the one she should be with. He agrees to come back and work for Beatrice but she knows that could never be enough. So she makes plans to tell her father after the party.

Sadly, when Beatrice tells her father he is not in support of it. Not surprising but at the same time I thought he might have just stood by his daughter anyway. The news comes as such a shock to him that he ends up having a heart attack. Eeek. Though this isn’t the first time someone has used shocking news to bring on a heart attack to someone in a book/movie/TV show.

So the King is rushed to the hospital and everyone in the state has put their own life on hold so they can monitor the King’s. Beatrice and her family are in the hospital and no one knows about Beatrice calling off the engagement. She couldn’t call it off now that the King is in the hospital.

Beatrice manages to have a few last words with her father but he does not get a chance to tell her about what he thinks about Teddy and Connor. Though Beatrice comes to her own conclusions about that, she needs to stay with Teddy in order to be a good Queen. Whatever her and Connor have will be torn apart by the media and the people thinking he is not good enough for her.

Too bad we will never know what he really thought. As the family are outside accepting well-wishes and gifts from the people outside the hospital, they receive news that the King has passed away.

This is when the whole nation turns to bow to Beatrice, their new Queen.

And I am left over here with a bunch of questions. I’m glad there will be a second book but apparently it will not be out until Autumn so I have a lot of waiting to do.

I want to know what Beatrice will decide about Connor and Teddy. I mean I guess it is kind of made clear what will happen. She will go through with her wedding but still see Connor on the side and it’ll probably be a hot mess. Though she could just marry Connor anyway and perhaps give the title up to Samantha?

It would make sense if Samantha became Queen, especially with Teddy on her side. Sure it is going to be super tacky to just take your sister’s place with her fiance and everything but like…it’ll be fine. Though I’m not sure if Sam would really want to be Queen. So we see what happens.

There there is the whole Daphne/Nina/Jeff situation. Nina saw Daphne at the hospital with Jeff and decided it was too much to handle for her so she left without anyone seeing her. I hope that she can either move on from Jeff or find someway to expose Daphne and get her man back.

As for Daphne, well she is on cloud nine and is surprised things are working out so well for her. After waking up to the news about the King, she wasted no time going to the hospital to console Jefferson. If only he knew who she woke up next to…

I imagine the truth will come out about Daphne soon, whether it comes from Himari if she wakes up from her coma, Ethan the angry lover or Nina the jealous ex. The world will find out the tea. Or at least Jeff will.

So that is where I am going to leave it. I definitely did not expect this series to draw me in like it has but now I want to know what happens next. I think Beatrice will make an amazing Queen but I know that there will be issues no matter who stands beside her as her King consort.

Not to mention that whatever she chooses will change Sam’s fate also, if she isn’t with Teddy then Sam can be, but if not then Sam has to watch them be a happy couple to the world…

So yeah, lots of questions and wondering. It’s safe to say I’ll be picking up the sequel whenever I get the chance. In the meantime it is time to venture back to the Upper East Side, I think I only have like four books left to read so let’s get to it, shall we?

~ Courtney x

Would I Lie To You? By Cecily von Ziegesar Review

New year, same book series. I have just finished the 10th book in the series and we only have three left…and one parody and then the spin offs haha but I think I’ll stick with the main series and then move on to other things.

So yeah, this book was…okay, though I was Googling to find out how many books I had left and it looks like the previous book, this one and the next one were all written by a ghostwriter. Which might explain why I am not enjoying them as much, something about them makes them less interesting than before.

I also tried to look up why they were ghostwritten but nothing really comes up when I search it so who knows. But that being said Cecily von Ziezegar does come back for the last two books which are a prequel and a sequel so we see what happens.

So yeah anyway this book. I don’t know what about it made it seem shorter than the others but it just was. Which meant the storylines were kind of weak.

Let’s start with Dan again because his story is kind of funny. So Dan is still working at his bookstore and ignoring Vanessa and all that but he makes friends with a new coworker who wants to hold a literary salon because ya know…books.

They selectively choose people to attend through an application process and the night arrives and Dan gets super drunk on absinthe and decides to make out with his new coworker Greg. He has a little freakout before just announcing to Jenny and himself that he is gay lol. Like okay Dan, why not. He goes through so many different phases in life why not let this be one of them.

I didn’t see this coming for him and honestly it’s kind of terrible. On the bright side he and Vanessa didn’t get back together for five minutes and break up again without saying words to each other.

Though that might have had something to do with Vanessa going off to the Hamptons because her babysitting job was taking her there. She lasted there about five minutes and then she realised she hated it and was lonely so she goes to a party in search of Blair and Serena, some friendly faces.

Only to discover the girls are nowhere to be found but it’s okay because she has become a fashion muse and ditches babysitting for that. Not really sure if she actually told anyone she was quitting or just never went back but yeah, that happened.

The fashion muse thing also only lasts for five minutes after Bailey Winter catches Vanessa in his sacred birdhouse and says she can’t film in there, however she did it anyway. Plus she felt kind of restricted in Bailey’s home and ended up just going back to the city, where she found out about Dan being gay possibly and that’s where we leave it for Vanessa. Wondering around aimlessly and not really sure what she’s doing – very much a mood.

Also side note we heard from Jenny a little bit in this book. She sent Dan some letters so at least we know she’s enjoying her summer.

Moving on down to Serena and Blair, they were Bailey Winter’s original muses and Bailey had hired fake European lookalikes to be the models for his campaign (no idea why he couldn’t use the real B and S but okay). Sadly the two could not get along with their lookalikes as B was convinced the fakes were up to something.

She got her revenge on them anyway in true Blair fashion. S just went along with it because she just wanted to have a fun carefree summer with her BFF. Though to be honest I they kept acting like these fake girls were up to something super sinister but all I know is they were just putting hair removal cream in shampoo which is, kind of tame and also boring.

Anyway, once the girls were done with their dopplegangers, they fled and ran into everyone’s favourite stoner Nate Archibald who happened to live next door.

Nate was still working for the Coach, but he was out of town and Nate was being harrassed by his wife, so it was a no brainer for him to hit the road once B and S showed up.

The three of them planned to go to the city and go sailing on the Archibald family boat but once getting to the city they find that Nate’s dad has taken the boat elsewhere.

While crashing at Serena’s apartment, S realises something weird is going on with Nate and Blair. Of course something is going on between them because there’s always something.

Basically Nate realises he just really wants to be with Blair because he believes their soulmates. Blair also wouldn’t hate being back with Nate either. And Serena is left feeling like a third wheel.

Worse than that, it’s Serena’s birthday. So before the gang hit the road on the search for the Archibald boat they stop to visit Serena’s brother Erik who has thrown a party for S’s birthday. Cute.

Sadly S does not enjoy a party that consists of all Erik’s friends and like six girls. Bummer. Not to mention she saw Blair and Nate on the stairs and Nate confessed he finally loved Blair. Now Serena is feeling super left out.

She kind of just goes away to pout and figure out how she’s feeling and she discovers that maybe she’s in love with Nate and should tell him. Even though her best friend just admitted she loves Nate and he loves her back. So she writes a letter and leaves it for him in the glovebox of his car.

I’m kind of surprised that Serena wasn’t a fan of the party Erik had. I feel like she usually can make the best of every situation. Plus her leaving a guy that once loved her and running away sounds just like her but using him to distract her from Nate and Blair – seems again weird for her.

I guess she just doesn’t want to lose her friends again to their bubble and be third wheeling at Yale. At the same time just because your friends are telling each other they love you, that doesn’t mean you just think like “maybe I love Nate too”. Like we established that you guys would always be in each other’s lives but not romantically. So…yeah I see a flaw.

As for the lovebirds, they headed out early, ditching S on her birthday (kind of rude), in search of the Archibald boat. While they are on the road they decide to go for a pitstop and this is where Nate is reminded of the consequences of ditching the Coach.

He gets a voicemail and the Coach is not happy about him ditching or smoking weed on the job. Naturally. So does this mean that Nate won’t actually graduate? Not that he cares in the moment when he’s got the girl but it would be interesting if he didn’t.

Then there’s B who discovered Serena’s letter in the car. Yikes. I guess those two aren’t BFFs anymore. It’s never good to find a letter addressed to your on-again off-again boyfriend from your best friend telling him she loves him. So she does the rational thing and tears up the letter before Nate sees it and the wind carries it away.

At around this same time Serena has come to her senses and wants to take the letter back but sadly discovers that Nate and Blair have already gone.

And that is where we end it.

Again, nothing great to be honest. The Dan is gay thing was kind of funny though.

Also I never expected Vanessa to be the type to just give up her film making to be a babysitter? Plus I never believed she would also quite the fashion muse thing so quick but I guess it’s not the kind of film she likes to make.

As for this love triangle of Nate, Blair and Serena…well I would have preferred if Serena had stayed out of it haha. I mean I guess without her there’s no drama but realistically Blair and Nate would have found something else to fight over sooner or later.

But yeah, I guess we see where we go from here. I think the next book is technically the proper end to the series, with the next two books being add-ons after that so I’m interested to see where it ends. Like I said I had a feeling it would end once everyone got into college, which is why they stretched this summer out for two whole books, but I’m hoping summer ends in the next book because it’s kind of boring.

Before I gear up to read the last few books of the series I think I’ll take a break and read something else. It seems to be my pattern to read three Gossip Girl books and something else so, why break that now. But don’t worry, I’ll be back with our favourite Upper East Siders before you know it.

~ Courtney x

Only In Your Dreams By Cecily von Ziegesar Review

Summer has just begun for our Upper East Siders and honestly? It’s kind of drab.

I really enjoyed the previous book but this one was lacking.

Let’s begin by saying there was absolutely no Jenny Humphrey in this one which actually made the book feel a bit short. I mean it’s the same length as all the others but with one less character to be updated on it was definitely lacking something.

Plus, don’t we love when Little J just ends up everywhere the cool people are? I can’t wait until we hear about her boarding school adventures, or if we even hear from her at all.

I know in the TV show Jenny was only written off because Taylor Momsen wanted to do music, but what’s the excuse for her being written out of the book?

Next, I guess we can talk about Dan, who once again cannot just have a relationship with Vanessa. He decides to become all hippie and do yoga and go jogging because he met a cute girl in the book store he was working at. I was kind of amazed he was able to keep up his charade for so long. At least he wasn’t writing any poetry…

But yeah so Vanessa gets kicked out of her apartment because her sister comes back and decides she needs all the space for her new boyfriend, so Dan says it’s okay if she moves in with him and she thought that meant they could really be together but of course Dan is over it. Even though he was all about being with Vanessa five seconds ago at graduation. Classic Dan.

So while Dan is off with his blonde, hippie girl, Vanessa is failing as a filmmaker. She was working a job for five minutes and then gets fired. Yikes. But things aren’t always perfect unless your name is Serena, then yes it is perfect. Anyway, she somehow lands a job babysitting which is cute…I guess?

I don’t really know what was going on with Vanessa in this book but she was kind of lame. At least Rufus said she could stay in the apartment because she has nowhere else to go.

As usual, she and Dan end up kind of friends again. Honestly just want one of them to move on for good it’s kind of annoying.

Moving on to our Queen B, she’s not having a fun time in London because Lord Marcus seems to be way more into spending time with his cousin, so she flees back to NYC. But not before buying a wedding dress, because ya know, everyone needs one just in case right?

I wish there was more to the Lord Marcus thing but I guess there isn’t. B just leaves and we never hear from him again. I also kind of enjoyed the whole wedding dress thing and I hope that it doesn’t go to waste.

So now B is back in New York and her mother has to talk to her about her spending because the exchange rate was not as good as Blair thought it was and suggests maybe it is time for her to get a job.

Luckily for Blair, her mother is very close to a designer friend who is working on the movie Breakfast at Fred’s – the remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring SVDW. Fancy.

So now B is working on a movie set and living her best life, plus she decides to move in with Serena for a while as she is living in the apartment building that Aubrey Hepburn lived in, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s so how could she say no? On top of that, we also have a cute neighbour who B seems to like, so like I said she’s living her best life.

Apart from the fact, her younger brother is dating someone who basically wants to be her which is a bit creepy, but she makes it work to her advantage.

Then there’s Serena who is discovering that acting is really hard and she is kind of failing at being an actress. Luckily for her B comes along to save the day and coaches her in all things, Audrey. Of course, she ends up being amazing at it because is it really Serena if she doesn’t magically pull things off?

She also tries to get with her co-star but he ends up being gay, aw well, you can’t win them all.

Over in the Hamptons, we have Nate who is working hard to get his diploma. While he is out there he meets a girl and decides to date her because when you’re as good looking as he is, why not?

In typical Nate fashion though, he realises his one true love is Blair and he doesn’t want to be with some townie and so he leaves her at the wrap party of the movie getting it on with Chuck Bass.

And so that’s where we are left off. Next everyone is headed to the Hamptons and I hope it’s more interesting. I mean, even as I say that I know Dan and Vanessa are going to continue to be on-again-off-again, Blair is going to try and resist Nate and fail and whatever Serena does, well she’ll be amazing at it and have a good time.

But you know I made it this far so let’s keep reading. Things in this book were just kind of dull, I wasn’t really excited by anything apart from Blair deciding to buy a wedding dress but even that didn’t come of anything great. Oh well. There’s still time for that whole Prince of Monaco storyline from the TV show to creep up and I would kind of enjoy that lol.

Anyway, until next time,

You know you love me,

Courtney x

Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily Von Ziegesar Review

You know this series is growing on me. I say as I’m literally eight books in and there aren’t many left haha.

I don’t know what it is but after that one, I seriously disliked they have been getting better? Or at least more interesting.

Maybe because everyone has finally graduated*!

* Except Nate Archibald but we will get to that.

Let’s switch it up and talk about Dan and Vanessa because we never talk about them first – normally for a reason but yeah haha.

So Vanessa was being a bit risque this book, as she decided that being with fun, but not as fun as being with Dan and Aaron at the same time. Though not in a threesome kind of way.

I mean Aaron was kind of laying it on thick with that ring he gave Vanessa that was engraved…not a fan man you only knew her five minutes.

So Vanessa thinks yeah I can have both of them. But that doesn’t last long because Aaron finds out (probably because she and Dan only seemed to have sex on the roof of her building where everyone can see). But surprisingly he was okay about it? Which I was surprised by because I definitely thought he was going to be annoyed at it considering he loved Vanessa so much…

But that kind of seems like how all Vanessa’s relationships go. Like she’s with someone and all of a sudden she’s not and it’s okay? Definitely not how it is in the real world folks.

Anyway yeah, so while she is having this affair with Dan, Dan obviously falls back in love with Vanessa but this time it’s like way more intense than before and Dan is being super annoying but in a worse way because he’s in love.

Dan suddenly thinks he needs to defer from college and spend all his time with Vanessa – even though she’s done nothing to indicate this is what she wants. Dan just kind of decides these things and thinks it’s best for everyone. He even says this during his graduation speech and it’s awful and like…ugh. Dan.

Cut to the end when he comes to his senses and decides to go to uni in the end, which is great for Rufus because he wants his kids to be educated no matter what.

Also, I guess Vanessa is trying to get work on a movie and we see how that goes. As for her and Dan’s relationship, I have no idea what they are and at this point, I don’t care. I’m so sick of their on and off again thing and it’s super weird because they tend not to actually talk and sort of assume things on their own and it just sort of happens. Makes no sense I hope the long distance when Dan goes away means less of that.

Moving onto Little J. She is determined to get into a boarding school but boarding school is not what she expected.

She goes to the open day of the school Serena went to and apparently it became super strict thanks to Serena van der Woodsen so she had to find elsewhere to go.

Luckily she got a place at some art school so we will see where that goes.

But before she got in there, she almost joined a super weird boarding school where Chuck’s cousin goes and also almost did ecstasy? Like wow okay slow down Jenny haha. I’m glad she didn’t actually take the drug and go off the deep end. We don’t need that for her.

That being said, she did keep the drug to give to someone else…our lovable and favourite stoner Nate Archibald!

Oh Nate.

This time instead of being stoned all the time he was just crying. All. The. Time. Like damn boy, who knew you had so many tears?

It was kind of annoying and he was honestly kind of useless in this book lol. All he did was follow Serena around (because they were in a relationship to prove to Blair it was more than a fling) and cry.

But he did decide to steal his lacrosse coach’s viagra so he could get it up for Serena hahaha.

This is why he did not graduate – he has to work for the coach over summer so he can earn his diploma. It’s so silly but at the same time, I think it will be good for him.

He and Serena broke up because she saw him with Jenny and she was relieved and so was he. Their relationship was nothing and I’m glad it’s over.

Serena was kind of just about keeping on Blair’s good side this time around. Which is tough considering no matter what she does B is not a happy bunny.

Though I think she did a good job, despite her going out with Nate. But she got lucky because B found a new man in her life so wasn’t focused on them.

She also got a part in a movie that both she and Blair were up for which is a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s but shot in Fred’s a restaurant in Barneys. Which sounds like the worst thing in the world to be honest lol.

Anyway, B wasn’t exactly thrilled about it but I think she’s okay not being a movie star for now.

The one thing I definitely thought Blair was doing to actually throw a fit over was that Serena was not only late to graduation and almost missed it, but the fact they both showed up in the same outfit.

That’s the kind of thing that would never stand on the TV show for B and I definitely thought would not be acceptable in the book but I think she seemed to keep her cool.

I suppose it was graduation and B didn’t wanna make a scene but still I expected more.

As for B herself, well she decided suddenly that she couldn’t live with Vanessa anymore, but they are still kind of friends because she got V a graduation dress and left her some shoes for it which was cute. So now B has moved into the Yale Club.

While at the club she meets a V handsome British version of Nate known as Lord Marcus. And if ya have seen the TV show then you know my interest has piqued because I wonder if it ends up going the same route.

I will say there might be a slim chance of that based on the fact this book was written a good few years before the TV show aired but who knows. I know they probably ramped up the drama for TV so like I doubt Nate gets with his stepmother but I would be open to that being a thing ahahaha.

Aside from being with Lord Marcus, B was also working on her graduation speech and I found it to be so fitting as she explained that if you work hard enough you can get everything you want. And we know that she’s got it all…at least for now.

So that is where we leave everyone, all happy and excited to be graduating and to see what lies ahead when they all go to university. I am excited to see where this goes – but at the same time, I only have a few books left which leads me to wonder where exactly does this tie-up?

At this point no idea, I did think maybe it would end when everyone went to uni but since that might just be around the corner I guess I’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x

Nobody Does It Better by Cecily Von Ziegesar Review

Back with the Upper East Siders and everyone is gearing up for this party the Archibalds are throwing on their boat. Because you know, rich people.

So I was thinking about this, and I noticed the book is basically Blair central – now I don’t know if it’s because she is my favourite so I naturally focus on her storyline more than the others, but I feel like most of the books are about her mainly.

Sure Serena has some stories, Dan and Vanessa are far removed from Blair but they don’t really have a lot to going on – unless I just block them out when I read haha, then Nate is entangled in Blair. Jenny kind of merges with Serena but that’s been only recent.

But yeah I definitely feel like Blair has the most going on, not that I’m complaining because like I said, she’s my fave haha.

Anyway, yeah so Blair and Nate start off super in love and having all the sex because Blair has finally decided to say goodbye to her V card. This lasts like 5 minutes because Nate decides to go back to being classic stoner Nate and kind of just forgets all about Blair and decides to go on an adventure to Bermuda on his family’s boat lol.

You know I normally don’t like stoner Nate but this time I mean it was kind of funny. That being said it really bothers me when he just cheats and is like “oh well”. I mean I know he’s a stoner and easy-going and whatever but even in this one he kind of thought the only person he wanted to be with was Blair but still kissed someone else instead…ugh they will never just be happy.

Anyway yeah so basically all that happened to Nate this time around was that he was with Blair, then got high, decided to take the family boat to Bermuda with all his stoner pals, then realised he wanted to be with Blair and turned the boat around. He got grounded but I guess it was worth it to be back with Blair? If only that had worked out for him. Oh, and he decided to go to Yale – woo.

Meanwhile Blair has decided to move out to the Plaza for a while and get away with her crazy family. She was hoping to use it as an excuse to get with Nate all week but then, he stole a boat so that didn’t work out.

When Nate finally reappears, he goes to Blair’s hotel room like he was supposed to the first night, but B won’t have him, instead she makes him think she slept with someone else and they broke up…again.

Really though it was just S hiding out pretending to be a guy lol. It’s cute when S and B are friends.

Serena didn’t have a lot going on this time around – she was getting emails from all the schools she applied for begging for her to come to them, but she ultimately decided on Yale. Which I still see her dropping out of but we will see. Oh and there was a rumour she was dating someone in a band but it was only a rumour.

B on the other hand, was still waitlisted so she showed up to this Yale thing to see if she could find someone who could use their influence to get her in. It didn’t really work out for her though. But that’s okay because she totally got in anyway – finally after all the waiting. I did kind of wonder if she would or not because if memory serves, it didn’t happen for her on the TV show so she ended up at NYU.

Oh and also she decided to move in with Vanessa after the headmistress told her she couldn’t stay in a hotel until she graduated. I thought this was random but I just remembered she did share a dorm room with Vanessa at NYU on the TV show lol. That being said they definitely tolerate each other more in the book than on TV.

Blair even hooked Vanessa up with her stepbrother Aaron which is super weird. Though to be fair I can see it. They are both kind of weird in the book, so why not throw them together. Let’s see how long it lasts, their relationship and the whole V and B living together thing. I don’t think either will be for very long but it would be interesting to see.

Another thing to note is that Nate and Blair were kind of thinking about being together again at the end of the book, but Nate got high and stupid again and decided it was a good idea to start getting with Serena. Oh you guys. Blair found out and was mad af so looks like they are all on the outs again. We shall see if Nate and Serena even make it to a relationship or whether they just end up hooking up and nothing else.

I suppose it will be an interesting time for the three amigos, but it will be a fun one. I remember when Nate went to Columbia on the TV show and minded his own business and didn’t get caught up in much drama haha.

Now moving on to Dan and Little J. Well. They definitely have taken a turn.

First of all, Dan in a band? HAHAHAHA. He was the lead singer for like a day and thought he was so cool. But then he went to the first gig and projectile vomited on stage – yikes. I never saw it lasting but he definitely went out with a bang.

Next thing you know Jenny is taking over and living her best rebellious teen life. Modelling with Serena was going great, but she wanted more of that life so she sneaks out to party with Dan’s band, steals his spot as lead singer and straight-up asks to be sent to boarding school so she can reinvent herself like Serena did lol. Wild.

It’s interesting that Jenny is desperate to be like Serena in the book but in the TV show she is all about wanting to be the next Blair. But either way, I can’t believe she just decided to straight-up say to her dad she wanted to go to boarding school haha. I feel like she will end up hating it a lot.

Also good for her for sneaking into that senior party, that was fun. I like seeing Jenny being fun and doing these crazy things, it’s more fun than seeing Dan be all dark and broody.

If anything I am also surprised that Rufus is so chill about things in the book. On the TV show, he would have had a fit if Dan and Jenny were both in a band. I mean I suppose in both, he isn’t the biggest fan of Jenny’s behaviour at all but yeah. I suppose it’s weird that they built out all these dramatic storylines on the TV show to do with the parents and none of it exists in the books.

I mean the only one we hear about on a regular basis is probably Eleanor, but she’s crazy in the books haha. Occasionally Rufus pops up in the story but it’s nothing major.

I do prefer it though, just because the whole Rufus/Lily TV thing was kind of meh. I mean I think when I first watched the TV show, I kind of wanted things to work out but then ultimately it was kind of annoying.

Anyway, that brings us to the end of another Gossip Girl book. I did like this one a lot more than the last one, so we will see where the next one takes us. I imagine to graduation and the summer before uni with how slow things are moving, but that’s fine with me, I kind of like the small timeline because when reading all the books in one go it’s easy to remember and follow along. I can imagine it was annoying reading them when they first came out and having to wait for the next one but I have no such issue lol.

You know you love me,

~ Courtney x