Book Review: "It Had to Be You" – the Gossip Girl prequel

Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times Bestselling series, Gossip Girl, finally exposes the events that take place prior to the happenings of the series in, It Had To Be You, the Gossip Girl prequel. In the novel, the reader is given an insider’s glimpse of what life is like for a rich teenage resident of New York City’s Upper East Side. The reader is allowed to live vicariously alongside New York’s most elite young people thanks to Gossip Girl, a widely-read, anonymous blogger who manages to capture and expose every movement, not to mention every scandal, of her favorite subjects.

For those who are not familiar with the series, It Had To Be You is a great starting point to test the water of a series that is definitely not for everyone. If you only read books with depth or for intellectual stimulation/enlightenment, then by all means avoid, avoid, avoid. If you are looking for a quick, entertaining read during times of boring, von Ziegesar’s novel might just suit your fancy. And for those of you who are in the know of the series, it is still most likely not a waste of time to give this book a read as it provides new perspectives for already familiar territory.

The novel takes the reader back in time, before the collapse of Nate Archibald and Blair Waldorf’s relationship and the mysterious disappearance of their mutual best friend Serena van der Woodsen. Dan Humphrey is still just a lonely writer, dreaming of a true love. Everything in It Had To Be You consists of brand new material that fans of the series will definitely appreciate, and, often, it feels as if this novel was written by the author as a gift of thanks to her devoted fans.

What makes the novels better than the recent television series based off the books is that the novels, while possessing the same amount of drama and scandal as the television series, are very well-written. Cecily von Ziegesar writes with wit and a deep knowledge of pop culture, which separates her from amateur, teenage writers’ attempts at creating pseudo-autobiographies of the lives of their closest friends. It Had To Be You is genuinely entertaining, if the reader is able to get past the fact that it will not fulfill any aspect of one’s life otherwise.