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ykylm You Know You Love Me (GG #2) by Cecily von Ziegesar | Rating: ★★★★★

You Know You Love Me serves as the second installment of the original Gossip Girl series and comes with the return of fan favorites Blair, Serena, Nate, Dan, Jenny, Vanessa and Chuck. After the excellent start to the series, one can tell instantly that these scandalous teenagers and their lives are only just getting started. Get ready for more sex, more betrayal and more fun.

The title of this book is, perhaps, the most iconic of the series due to the phrase “you know you love me” that frequents the ever mysterious Gossip Girl’s blog and also makes its appearance in dialogue for both Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen. You don’t think of Gossip Girl without this phrase.

It reminds me of middle and high school; the way you feel when you're just discovering the world for yourself and how odd and intriguing life can really be. It reminds me of the autumn and the very first pair of heels I'd purchased as a teenager; it reminds me of the thrill of doing things you shouldn't be and the exploration of it all. Plot wise, it picks up right where the first of the series left off and throws us right into the mix of these teenagers scandal filled lives.

Blair and Nate are back together, Nate is as fickle as ever, Serena is kind-of-sort-of with Dan (but for how long?), Vanessa has an older boyfriend and Jenny is looking for a way in as usual. And Chuck Bass is still a dirt bag dressed up with a pinky ring and scarf.

If you’re wondering if these kids and their families would just take a breather, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.

While things are heating up between Dan and Serena; Vanessa and her beau, things are cooling off between Blair and Nate. But who is shocked? Nate Archibald is the epitome of teenage boy: stoned completely, fickle, ungrateful yet oddly endearing. His eyes soon wander to the startlingly adorable and sweet Jenny Humphrey. Jenny is Blair’s opposite and something about her draws Nate in.

Maybe it’s her chest? Oops. I love Jenny. You Know You Love Me is the first book in the series that made me fall head over heels in love with Jennifer Tallulah Humphrey. She’s sweet and just genuine and absolutely longs to be adored – by the city, by her peers and by Nate. This novel is where we really see a spark of her and what’s to come.

Although I love Blair and Nate, in spite of their flaws, a part of me will always find Jenny and Nate cute. At least, in this book. And even in their cuteness, I feel like Jenny could undoubtedly do WAY better.

As for the other Humphrey: Dan is getting serious about Serena.

EXTREMELY serious to the point where he’s nearly at stalker territory. It’s clear from the get go that he is in love with an idea of who he thinks Serena is. Typical high school crush. And let’s just say that Serena is not as into him as he is into her – especially after witnessing a tender moment between Serena and a certain Nate Archibald during a college visit.

Maybe he shouldn’t have sent her some of his “romantic” poetry after all. It’s flattering being a muse, but there is a line. And Serena is full of far too much light to be that serious so soon.

It’s okay, Humphrey. We had a feeling this would happen. There are plenty of fish in the sea…

Plus, doesn’t romance bloom better between two friends than two strangers? Vanessa may be with someone else, but it’s clear she is hopelessly in love with him. But will the two ever be anything more than BFFs?

And then there’s our favorite bad girl, Blair Waldorf. Just when things were heating back up with Nate, things just as quickly cooled off between the two. But her troubles are only just beginning: in the movie that is her life, things have taken a disastrous turn. As her birthday approaches, she finds that her mother is marrying her boyfriend, Cyrus Rose, and that she will be gaining another new member to their family.

A step-brother, Aaron.

And did we mention the wedding is on her birthday? Yuck.

Fortunately for her, there’s something of a friendship forming between her and her new brother. But is there something more? Regardless, some of the best scenes in this series arise when the two take a little road trip to Yale. And then, the infamous kiss happens – Blair kisses the man who is interviewing her on the cheek and to make matters worse, this happened moments before she spilled all her troubles on this poor soul.

But is this the end for this little Waldorf and her dreams of attending Yale next fall? And will the wedding between her mother and Cyrus be as much of a nightmare as she thought? Well, let’s just say she will finally see why Nate has been acting so strange and she may very well get her best friend back.

Because let’s face it: even when they are enemies, are Blair and Serena ever not friends? The answer is no.

Overall, with its simple writing and soap opera plots YKYLM is just as much fun as the rest of the series. YKYLM takes me back to teen filled angst and hijinks that are just so bad that they're good. It's aged really well, even in the years that have passed, and remains one of my favorite installments in the entire series. And although it has plenty of cringe worthy moments, you’ll easily spend your day unable to put this down.

Who doesn’t love a good, shallow tale of rich teens and their exploits? I know I do. ‘Till next time…

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