You're the One That I Want (GG #6) by Cecily von Ziegesar | Rating: ★★★★★
You’re the One That I Want is the sixth installment in the pop culture phenomenon that is Gossip Girl and is my personal favorite of the series of books. For a series that is as messy and poorly written as GG is, it’s still thoroughly entertaining, stylish and engaging.
And in this installments case, the writing has improved immensely.
In true GG fashion, its main plot line is fueled by teenagers misbehaving and narrated by the queen of gossip herself. Most of our favorite UES teens are nearing the end of their high school careers (graduation is just months away!) and seem to be branching out more and more as they discuss what their adult lives will soon hold for them.
YTOTIW promises its usual array of scandal, gossip, fashion, luxury and sex. It’s the perfect combination of teenage angst, hormones and boredom. Which is what makes it fun and appealing to teenagers. Each character is different and yet still obtainable. They can all be extremely horrible to each other, yet you want to root for them in many ways.
Onto the plot:
It holds a few events that have been building up since the first book was released including the birth of the newest Waldorf, and the reveal of baby Waldorf’s name, it also comes with the reconciliation of Dan/Vanessa and Blair/Nate. There’s no shortage of drama in each plot, though, and it leaves us with a very delicious and soap opera experience.
We travel with some of the kids as the explore their university options and watch, with amusement, of the mischief that each of them get up to in the meantime. Serena falls in love with different schools and different boys and although her plot tangles with romance it is still a sweet and freeing look into the life of everyone’s favorite it-girl.
Nate and Blair have their share of dramatic occurrences, even as they come closer to getting back together, when a very insecure Blair finds out not only was Serena accepted to her dream school (Yale) Nate, known slacker, was also accepted while she was merely wait listed. Blair is very petty at times and definitely lets her dramatic jealousy control her, but in this case it’s easy to see why she is frustrated at being put on a wait list while her two best friends seemingly breezed on through admissions.
And in Nate’s case, he hid it from her. Which only makes matters worse for her, as he is almost always on thin ice with trust.
Meanwhile, Jenny continues her quest to become the next it girl in Manhattan and sets her sights on becoming a model. And Vanessa finds herself with an empty apartment once Ruby leaves to tour with her band.
Over ten years after its original publication, it still feels equal parts real and fantasy. As I’ve said before, the books in the Gossip Girl series are very unpolished and lack the grace that the television adaption has. It’s what makes them all sound like actual teenagers.