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only Only in Your Dreams (GG #9) created by Cecily von Ziegesar | Rating: ★★★★★

Summer is here and things are heating up for our recent high school graduates in the ninth book of the pop culture phenomenon that is Gossip Girl. Sadly, Only In Your Dreams is the first of the series to be written by a ghost writer instead of Cecily von Ziegesar and it definitely shows.

But the ghost writer does capture Cecily’s series in a way the mimics her style perfectly. While it isn’t the best of the series, it is still juicy and stylish in the way that only Gossip Girl can be.

Everyone’s favorite Upper East Siders are nearing adulthood and have vowed to make this summer their best yet. Serena’s begun production as the lead in Breakfast at Fred’s, only to find out acting isn’t quite as easy as she thought. Her only saving grace is her looks and her ridiculously adorable and sweet costar, whom she definitely develops a crush on.

But is this something she can pursue? Or is he just not that into her?

And then there’s Vanessa who, after getting booted from her apartment by her older sister Ruby’s return, finds herself temporarily homeless.

Luckily for her, with Serena’s help, she is able to land a job on the movie set. And she moves in with the Humphrey’s. Rufus is surprisingly cool about it and soon she finds herself staying in Jenny’s old room. It’s a cozy little set up and things look up for our favorite edgy, badass, bald, budding filmmaker.

But can Vanessa’s newly reinstated relationship with Dan survive her new schedule and their living arrangements? And will her quirky, darker way of filming wow the filmmaker or destroy her new career before it begins?

Meanwhile, Blair is visiting her new boyfriend Marcus for the summer only to find that things aren’t quite as dreamy as she thought. Once again, she finds herself what she believes to be the perfect romance only to trip over the truth. Marcus seems awfully different this side of the ocean and his closeness to a relative makes Blair exceedingly frustrated and uncomfortable.

After an unsuccessful vacation and attempt to seduce Marcus, and the over the top purchase of a wedding gown, Blair’s had enough and returns to New York City as quick as she can.

Eventually, she moves in with Serena, finds herself needing a job (with a famous fashion designer who is working on Breakfast at Fred’s: shocking, I know) and helps her best friend get into the role of Holly.

Only in Your Dreams reminds us why the two are friends and proves that no matter how often they feud, no mater what the two do to each other, they are practically sisters. It’s refreshing to see the two helping each other and maturing a bit more than usual.

If you’re looking for Blair to remain single for longer than a second, I’m going to crush your dreams right now. Her and Serena’s neighbor is quite cute, and the two hit it off for a perfectly sweet flirty summertime fling. It isn’t serious and it’s just what Blair needs to rebound from both Nate and Marcus.

Speaking of Nate: summertime in the Hampton’s is typically fun for someone of his pedigree. But when faced with working for his coaches wife, who desperately tries to seduce him and makes everything massively uncomfortable, to gain his diploma Nate decides to follow his usual path of poor decision making and also attempts to stay away from girls for the time being.

Of course this would never work for someone like Nate Archibald, and he soon finds himself interested in a townie by the name of Tawny. Tawny is… well… not Blair or Serena, so the relationship is of the rebound variety and isn’t meant to last. In fact, during a brief return to the city for a party, Tawny ditches him for Chuck.

Meanwhile, Jenny isn’t really shown in this one beyond brief letters between her and Dan. And Dan feels distant from Vanessa and finds himself attracted to a girl who comes into work one day.

Dan is virtually unrecognizable once he begins an affair with the yoga-and-peace-loving Bree. Their romance is based primarily on lust, seeing as Dan changes a lot about himself while he hangs around Bree. It doesn’t last and it obviously messes up the relationship he has with Vanessa seeing as this is the second time he’s cheated on her.

I swear, the show got something right in making Dan and Nate friends. If only the books went that way with these two fickle morons. I love them, don’t get me wrong: I just think they could have gotten along even better in the books due to how similar they are.

It’s obvious that things are only heating up as the summer goes on and while college is growing closer and closer, their summer is only just beginning.

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