The Inner Lives of Girls – Not For The Weak-Willed

May 24th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

It is somewhat fascinating to discover Gossip Girl fans. We discovered the series via a certain well-known crime fiction blogger. Naturally, since we weren’t the target audience, we went searching for someone who was. It’s rather amazing what those kids at Stanford have time to read these days.

And so it goes. While you were reading Harry Potter (and there’s certainly no shame in that), the inner lives of teenage girls have been made public. Note: if you do not have the stomach for serial killers and other ‘paths, you will not make it through a day in the world of adolesecent females. Of course, if you really want to get girls (in a literary sense of concept), there is this:

Young-adult literature has always had a split personality. On the front shelf are books that adults hope girls will read: dramas with spunky heroines and melodramas with a moral. But push open the secret compartment, and you find the books girls read on the sly (even girls who don’t usually read): Forever Amber and Judy Blume’s Forever (especially the “Ralph” scene). Back in high school, Von Ziegesar herself read Austen and Tolstoy by day, but under the covers, the 15-year-old Cecily favored V. C. Andrews’s gothic Flowers in the Attic, featuring brother-sister incest and doughnuts poisoned with arsenic. “They were so bizarre and twisted and sick,” she marvels. “I read them all more than once. My mother was like, ‘Why do you buy those books?’ I don’t think she really wanted to know.”

You know what she means.

Oops, sorry, we got carried away. We had a purpose when we began. The Gossip Girls will be carrying on the fine tradition of series like Nancy Drew: interchangeable authors. It worked for the aforementioned V.C. Andrews. Talk about a post-mortem career.

Actually, the story offers an inside look at the world of teenage-targeted books (i.e., books actually read by their younger siblings, but that’s another story entirely).

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs · Publishers and Editors