Books by Cecily von Ziegesar

DARK HORSES by Cecily von Ziegesar
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A soap-operatic blend of Romeo and Juliet and My Friend Flicka. Yikes. (Fiction. 12-16)"
A troubled teen finds her temporary soul mate in a troubled horse. Read full book review >
YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME by Cecily von Ziegesar
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Continuing her soap opera saga where Gossip Girl (p. 580) left off, von Ziegesar again has her mostly rich, private-school crew of privileged Manhattan teenagers partying at elegant eateries, drinking booze, and shopping at high-end stores, but also thinking about college. Because of their wealth and social status, "not applying to the Ivy Leagues is not an option" and not getting accepted "would be a total embarrassment," so "the pressure is on." As the hunky, rich, pot-addled Nate says, "All of a sudden we have to plan what we're doing for the rest of our lives and try to impress people with how smart and involved we are. I mean, do our parents take eight classes . . . , play on sports teams, edit the paper, and tutor underprivileged children . . . every single day?" Despite their jealousy inducing advantages, the characters are surprisingly sympathetic and von Ziegesar has the gift of summing up an experience with incisive wit. For example, at "a hippie arts camp," Jenny "had to write haikus about the environment, sing peace songs in Spanish and Chinese, and weave blankets for the homeless." Almost Chekhovian in situation, the bulk of the kids are in love with someone who is either indifferent to their charms or in love with someone else. Getting it all sorted out is the fun of it, and like its predecessor, it's a highly enjoyable speedboat of a read, zipping along at lightning speed, leaving adolescent angst, wounded egos, and Manolo Blahnik mules in its wake. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
GOSSIP GIRL by Cecily von Ziegesar
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2001

Deliciously catty and immediately engrossing, this is the ultimate beach read for teenage girls, offering them a titillating peek into the heady world of Manhattan's well-heeled teens, private-school kids who "have unlimited access to money and booze," and—since their prominent self-involved parents are terribly busy and largely disinterested—"tons of privacy" as well. Appearances reign in von Ziegesar's world, and the kids are free to do as they choose as long as they don't "embarrass . . . the family by puking in public, pissing their pants, or ranting in the streets." Loading it with labels and writing in a breathless style, von Ziegesar amusingly and succinctly sums up her characters. For example, a mother's less-than-classy new boyfriend is described as looking "like someone who might help you pick out shoes at Saks." The plot in this private-school intrigue/slice-of-life drama concerns the homecoming of Serena van der Woodsen, a captivating hottie who "every boy wants and every girl wants to be." Once the undisputed ruler of the reigning clique at the select Spenford School, Serena becomes an instant outcast, as the jealous and ambitious Blair Waldorf, the new queen bee, is not willing to surrender power or her handsome boyfriend. It should be noted that various youngsters smoke cigarettes, have sex, use marijuana, drink alcohol, and throw up after meals, and while these activities are not glamorized, they are presented as business as usual. That caveat aside, girls should find this lightweight novel spicy, entertaining, and their own trashy fun. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >