Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts: Reading Post-Gossip Girl YA Literature

As someone who tends to look back, not forward, it's always interesting to me to look back and see how trends begin, and how they go in unexpected directions. I was reminded of this when I finished reading Rumors, the second book in The Luxe series, in preparation for book three, Envy, which is being published later this month. I remember picking up the ARC for The Luxe, looking at the cover, and then turning it over to the read the blurb. As I read, I thought to myself, "It's Edith Wharton meets Gossip Girl."

I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the blurb when it said The Luxe was "The Age of Innocence meets Gossip Girl." It's not often I get things so very right.

Yet what's more interesting to me is how Gossip Girl has become more than just one series; it's touched off ripples throughout young adult literature that goes beyond similar series like The A-List or The Clique. You have The Luxe, a historical twist on Gossip Girl, which is going so strong that it seems to have inspired it's own lookalike imitator, La Petite Four. And that's just one example of how Gossip Girl changed publishing.

I've been equally intrigued by how the Gossip Girl series has changed series publishing, as well. Those of us who grew up on Sweet Valley High know that paperback series never changed for the long-term. Yet Gossip Girl drew its original storyline to a close, and then did a reset, starting over with a new group of characters. It's a risky proposition, and I felt that Gossip Girl: The Carlyles was a shaky start. Happily, You Just Can't Get Enough, book #2 in the Carlyles series, was much stronger, and I feel that the Carlyles series will turn out to be just as addictive as the original series. I'm now waiting with baited breath to see how the reboot of The A-List turns out, as The A-List was my personal favorite of all these series.

What are your thoughts on Gossip Girl? For good or for worse, it's changed YA literature, in ways we're still figuring out. Do you think Twilight will have the same impact? Or is there something waiting in the wings that will surpass anything else?

(My apologies for the radio silence last week . . . life got in the way of blogging!)

1 comment:

yabooknerd said...

Interesting post. I do think that Twilight has already changed publishing a bit with the slew of vampire books circulating. It's also influenced a generation of readers, similar to Harry Potter. Zombies, faeries, and unicorns seem to be upcoming trends.

But the Gossip Girl trend seems to reinvent itself every 10-15 years. (Sweet Valley High/Baby Sitter's Club = Gossip Girl/Clique) Plus all of their spin-offs or similar titles ensures that teens still read. It's fun to see what's coming up next.