Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar -- Book Review


Published: October 2011

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Privileged

From the back of the book:

Welcome to New York City's Upper East side, where my friends and I live, and go to school, and play--and sometimes kill each other. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it. Until to they die. 

Serena van der Woodsen is back from boarding school, hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf--things just haven't been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. Serena decides the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate, and if that means killing him, well, c'est la vie. The attempted murder doesn't go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn't about to let Serena kill whoever she wants and steal the spotlight yet again--not when so many Upper East Siders deserve to die. From the #1 bestselling author Cecily von Ziegesar, this bloody reimagining of the original Gossip Girl novel takes backstabbing to new heights. 

Actually, it was less of a "bloody reimagining" and more of a "bloody cut-and-paste" of the original Gossip Girl novel. 

I was looking forward to reading this novel because it was a relatively new addition to the Gossip Girl series. Most of the schemes in the original book were pretty petty, so I figured the Psycho Killer version would have darker schemes that go overboard into murder territory. Maybe a seemingly innocent beginning with a horrifying conclusion. 

There was none of that. Instead, I found my eyes glazing over while reading the text because all the book really does is cut and replace the original descriptions with gory details that come across as careless and lazy. 

It was fine to wear your brother's old clothes in ninth and tenth grade. Then, it was cool. But now, with the cuffs so obviously bloodstained, it just seemed unsanitary. (Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer, pg. 92)

I ended up rolling my eyes. Even after we got past the beginning with the super-explicit foreshadowing, the comically-intended gory scenes fell flat. The weird "bloody" descriptions made the entire book a haphazardly thrown together project. I was bored. 

The last chapter did make me crack up because it was so bad it felt like fan fiction. But that was the last chapter, when something actually happened. 90% of the book was of characters doing normal things while having dark thoughts, with the words "bloody" and "eyeballs" and "stabbing" thrown in. Oooh, spooky? Uh, no. 

As a casual reader of the series, I was really hoping to enjoy this, but it was badly written satire. It didn't feel like it was even written at all, just cut-and-pasted. I can't recommend this book--you'd be better off reading fan fiction.



What I would dine on while reading this novel: 

  • Cosmo-flavored slushies 
  • Chuck's tongue 

If you really want to, you can read more about Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar here. I guess. 

Thanks for reading! What did you think of this book? I'd really like to hear your take on this. Leave a comment and tell me that I'm horribly wrong and that this was actually witty satire. 

--Ellen

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