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take a chance on me Take A Chance On Me (GG: The Carlyles #3) created by Cecily von Ziegesar and written by Annabelle Vestry | Rating: ★★★★★

In the third installment of Gossip Girl: The Carlyles, things continue heating up on the Upper East Side and these new scandalous teenagers just won’t quit. Everything has been up in flames since the arrival of The Carlyle triplets and Take A Chance on Me is quite possibly the best in this spin off and dishes us a hefty helping of drama, betrayal, romance and power struggles.

Say hello to your next best beach read, ladies and gentlemen. Although this next generation of kids don’t quite reach the level of awesomeness that our original group did, this installment certainly takes things to a whole new level and is classic Gossip Girl. It’s stylish, witty, light and will have you glued to the pages until the final chapter.

As for the kids…

Owen has officially snagged the girlfriend of his ex best friend, and with this betrayal and the entire UES teenage population knowing this, he no longer has to hide his attraction to Kelsey. No matter who he hurts, he flaunts this relationship and finds himself blissfully at ease. Love is a powerful thing, my friends. Powerful and brutal.

But is it love that two share or is it just lust? Was their romance a classic case of “you want what you can’t have”? Owen soon can’t help but wonder how well he really knows Kelsey. Now that he is friendless and in a relationship, Owen begins to have second thoughts. Kelsey doesn’t seem to ever want to just talk to him and after Rhys quits the team; he becomes captain to a group of guys who seemed to have picked sides.

To make matters worse, he misses his friendship with Rhys and soon begins to understand the gravity of his actions, how much he hurt his friend. But will these two patch up their bromance?

Anything is possible, but Rhys is in no hurry. He’s positively heartbroken over the breakup and betrayal and seems to be on a path of self destruction as he lets go of his responsibilities and gains a friendship and new hobby. By hobby I mean putting on his best imitation of slacker stoner dudebros. Rhys grows because of this and because of what his life has turned into, and you can’t help but to love him because frankly he is a sweetie.

Avery and Jack are still not in a good place with one another. And while there aren’t too many cat fights between them at this point, their dynamic is still pretty interesting and very reminiscent of Blair/Serena.

Now that Jack has her boyfriend J.P. back, is the face of a new campaign and living on her own she has certainly reinstated herself as resident It-Girl. But is the spotlight becoming too much? Is her romance with J.P. fizzling out? It isn’t easy being Queen and maybe, just maybe, she’d rather relax and be someone else before it all suffocates her to death.

Avery, now an intern at a glossy fashion magazine, has found herself a potential beau and more, including the opportunity to totally sabotage Jack Laurent. Finally, she holds the power to seek revenge against everyone’s favorite ballerina – but is this what she really wants?

Does she have a future career here or is her new found interest D.O.A? Avery’s growth in this one is something else. She seems to let down her hair a bit and show a more mature side to her and comes across as incredibly sympathetic and likeable. It’s easy to see why she became my favorite character in this one and all of her scenes were excellent this time around.

She stands up for herself and her beliefs and thankfully for us, bonds with Jack. Is this the start of a beautiful new friendship? Or was their night out a one-time-only deal? I hope not – I think that the two could be incredibly close and look forward to seeing more about them.

As for Baby, her storyline is almost predictable throughout the entire thing as she tries to figure out her life. I feel like it’s taken the tone of a broken record and while I love Baby and her free spirited ways, she sort of annoyed me during this installment. Her parts were far from boring, but they were certainly my least favorite of this book. Pros: I have to applaud her for being so willing to sort things out and really enjoy seeing her scenes, as usual, with Sydney.

My only complaint in this one is that there aren’t enough scenes between the triplets. The scenes in which they bond with one another in the way on a trio of wombmates can bond are my favorite in the entire series and hopefully we’ll get a few more in the final book.

Overall, this Gossip Girl spinoff proves to be just as fun and juicy as the series and was a delight to read. What else could one possibly want?

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