February 01, 2006

Gossip Girls Got Your Goat?

My mother e-mailed me this article from the Peoria (IL) Journal-Star about racy series novels for teen girls--namely, things like Gossip Girl (which we've all heard of by now) and A-List (which I hadn't heard of).

To be honest, I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the Gossip Girl books yet, and after reading the excerpt that began this article, I'm even less inclined to now. Silly old (and getting older) me--I thought that Gossip Girl would vaguely resemble the upper-middle-class trashy fun of something like Sweet Valley High, or that private-school series, The Girls of Canby Hall. But no. Apparently Gossip Girl makes Sweet Valley High look like well-written, meaningful literature.

But regardless of your opinion of series novels, it's an interesting article. One high school teacher simply sees them as a sign of the times: "Look what's popular in adult entertainment. 'Desperate Housewives.' 'Sex and the City.' Do people really think this isn't going to carry down to their children?" Of course, now he's making the Gossip Girls sound like a gateway drug. Another analogy brought up in the article was junk food--it may be a fun, guilty pleasure, but better when moderated with healthy consumption.

The most interesting part to me was at the end of the article, which reprinted a review of Gossip Girl posted by a 12-year-old on Amazon. If all 12-year-olds were this level-headed, there probably wouldn't be this much controversy in the first place.

1 comment:

TadMack said...

There used to be a political phrase (okay, there probably still IS one) about "if it plays in Peoria, then it's okay." How ironic that this is from the Peoria newspaper, and nope, it doesn't play.

That book being in a public middle school library is what sort of jolted me... I mean, really? I thought school libraries were who banned stuff.