The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

You Know I Love You, XOXO

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear Gossip Girl,

This week, the 100th episode of Gossip Girl aired in the UK and it got me thinking about everything we have been through over these last ten years.

I was only 13 or 14 when I found you on Amazon but alas, you were only available in the US. So, I asked for a copy for Christmas and my aunt bought it for me. In hindsight, I suspect she was reluctant to get it for me after reading the blurb on the back, after all YA was not quite what it is now ten years ago, but still she got me what I wanted and that Christmas, I became addicted to the lives of those Upper East Siders (and anything printed by Little, Brown).

Thanks to you, I delved into the world of Manhattan’s elite and never looked back. I was able to dazzle my dad with references to hotspots in his beloved city despite having never actually set foot outside of JFK until last summer. I also developed delusions of obscene grandeur with regard to designer brands, thinking it was the norm for seventeen year olds to carry Marc by Marc Jacobs totes and tiptoe around in Tory Burch flats.

A lot of people do not realise that your novels are a lot more complex and hard hitting than what is portrayed in the television series. The show started out trying to be controversial and quite frankly a little scary, just like the novels, however something didn’t translate from page to  screen- probably due to the budget and perhaps the casting. Although, it has to be said, Leighton Meester’s Blair Waldorf is inspired and the closest we will ever get to the real thing. However, now the show has found the right balance between campy dramedy and fashion show to satisfy us all. Sorry but even those who claim to hate it now were rocking headbands and patterned tights back in 07.

Thank you also for spinning off to create The It Girl series because even though they were ghost written (like the later original Gossip Girl’s) I still found them crazily entertaining. I drove myself to distraction trying to find Stila lipgloss in the UK thanks to Callie’s obsession. Speaking of Callie and moving on to Easy and Brett, thank you also for introducing all of those preppy, unusual names into our modern day lexicon.

Overall, if it wasn’t for you Gossip Girl, there would not be many of the novels and shows that are available right now that quite often do not have half the style, sass and entertainment value as you (Pretty Little Liars I am looking at you). You opened the door for the equivalent of chick-lit to YA. It is not for everyone and I am sure some highbrow sorts probably despise you and blame you for the demise in children’s literature. However, I implore them to read your novels and not these pale imitations that have been churned (yes churned, we are not stupid, we can tell) out over the years.

It has been an honour to tag along for the ride these past ten years. Hopefully there will be many more- although please, don’t release any more of the second-generation novels with the Carlyle’s- I did not like these, except for the character names (I have always wanted to call a character Baby but it just never sounds authentic).

Keep on keeping on Gossip Girl and ignore the haters.

You know I love you.