Gossip Girl: It Had to Be You: The Gossip Girl Prequel
Cecily von Ziegesar
Reviewed by Michaila Hamilton (age 17) for Reader Views (1/08)
Admit it. We have all fallen in love with the juicy “Gossip Girl” novels. “It Had to Be You,” written by Cecily von Ziegesar, takes us back to the sophomore years of our Upper East Side Manhattan teens. Sex. Lies. Scandal. Gossip. We love it. The best thing to know about this book is that it is only the beginning. This book, “It Had to Be You,” answers a lot of questions and fills in many gaps that “Gossip Girl” readers had while reading some of the first novels. It brings us back to the time when best friends Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, and Nathaniel Archibald were inseparable, and answers the questions we’ve all never been able to answer– Why aren’t our three fabulous socialites beaming with disgustingly beautiful happiness anymore? What makes Blair have a deep, passionate resentment for Serena nowadays? But we would be so naïve to think that these are the only problems these beautiful trouble-makers bear.
An unbelievably stunning blonde, a strikingly beautiful brunette, and a gorgeous green-eyed high school god — you’d swear that Serena, Blair, and Nate were attached at the hip during their young high school years, from parties and sleepovers at night to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Danishes in the morning. The friendship these three wealthy teens shared was so beautiful and blossoming. But as nicely as it came, it slowly started to fade away when a young and curious Blair and Serena faced an internal battle with each other for the heart of Nathaniel Archibald. After Serena declared her love to Nate in his Manhattan townhouse, and Blair the same at a hotel pre-debutante party, it became hard for this hottie to chose between the two. But after Blair uncovered shocking news about her father’s coming out of the closet and moving to France with his new lover, our charming stud decides to embark upon what he doesn’t realize will be a long, tough relationship with Blair. All the while, Serena is coming up with ways to tell her two best friends that her parents are sending her off to boarding school in the next couple of months. Oh, the drama.
What would a keep-them-on-the-edge-of-their-seats novel be with only one love affair? While Blair and Nate venture into some of the happiest days of their lives, a relationship oddly blooms between weird Vanessa Abrams and potential Serena van der Woodsen stalker Daniel Humphrey. Vanessa is probably the most disliked girl of her school, Constance Billiard. Dan, on the other hand, is definitely the most unknown. But they both share something in else in common — a thing for popular Serena van der Woodsen, although their opinions for this blonde bombshell don’t quite match. Vanessa can’t stand her because she thinks she’s the typically stuck-up rich girl, and Dan thinks she emulates the goddess Venus, herself. These two met on the roof after being locked out of and thrown out of womanizer Chuck Bass’s house party. Vanessa had unsuccessfully crashed the event and Dan had no luck catching the eye and heart of Serena. But this didn’t stop these go-getters of “It Had to Be You.” They had a wonderful time climbing down to the safety of the street and going out for foreign coffee and cigarettes. Then had a night-cap that involved coffee-smoke flavored throw up. Yum.