The It Girl

Common Sense Media says

Same bad-girl 'tude in Gossip Girl spinoff.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

A student has an affair with a faculty member. One character bribes another with luxury items.

Not applicable

Sexual rumors, drunken kissing, a boyfriend and girlfriend almost have sex after he sneaks into her room (condoms are mentioned). Most disturbing is a near-sexual encounter between a faculty member and a student.


Some swearing, including f--k.


Lots of products are mentioned: Tiffany, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, even Red Bull and Marlboro Lights.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink as well as smoke cigarettes and pot.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this spinoff of the Gossip Girl series has many of the same controversial elements as her first series. Characters are materialistic and manipulative, and they drink, smoke pot, swear, and engage in some sexual acts (there's even a relationship between a student and a teacher).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Jenny Humphrey is back and she's going to boarding school. When this character from the Gossip Girl series heads to an exclusive co-ed institution in upstate New York, she immediately lands both in the room of the school's most popular pair -- and in a world of trouble.


Rumors follow her, and when she gets trapped in a late-night scandal, she could be expelled. Meanwhile her roommates have their own struggles: Callie tries to navigate her troubled relationship, and Brett gets involved with a young, rich faculty member. And of course there's the requisite flirting, bribing, partying, and pranking rounding this novel out.

Is it any good?


Say what you will about the Gossip Girl books: They're pretty trashy, but at least they're fun. This first installment of a spinoff series recycles the same material, only it's set in a new location, and -- believe it or not -- lacks the depth.

Some teens may get sucked in by the labels, the parties, the romance -- including the disturbing romance between Brett and the Disciplinary Committee advisor (he whisks her away to his family's mansion -- in an airplane! -- serves her wine and asks her to tell him all about herself). But this book doesn't have much to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the publisher created a spin-off series. What does it mean that the book was created by Cecily von Ziegesar -- not written by her? They also may want to talk to their kids about the number of brand names mentioned here. The cover model's clothes are even advertised on the inside flap. Are you supposed to envy these rich kids enough to want to be like them -- even dress like them?

Book details

Author:Cecily von Ziegesar
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:January 6, 2006
Number of pages:272
Publisher's recommended age(s):15
Read aloud:15
Read alone:15

This review of The It Girl was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byColor July 25, 2009

Great book for teens!

Great book! I laughed a lot! I am a teen, and do not do anything of the things mentionned in the book, but found it very entertaining. It's FICTION!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bylaurenmc422 January 20, 2009

Inappropriate for anyone under 15, Maybe mature 14 year olds.

I'm 14 and I didn't notice the back that said "15+" until I really got into the book. It's definitely inappropriate although I instantly became addicted. I would not reccomend it to my younger sister, although I would to one of my friends. It's like The Clique, only the girls are meaner on a new level of drugs and alcohol. Unless you are mature enough to understand what the girls in the story are doing is wrong, than you should not read this book. Between the student-teacher affair and the "E incident" this book is completely atrocious - but I loved every moment of it anyway! Filled with labels, most girls would probably look to buy some of these brands. I know plenty of people online who obsess over books like this (namely The Clique) and act just like the main characters. It disgusts me, but I am mature enough to not act like characters.
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent November 24, 2010

Great read for middle school (6th grade) and up

My 11-year-old sixth-grader and I have read and loved this. A lot of her peers are now venturing into young adult books, and they all realize that this is gulity pleasure fiction and not to be taken seriously. You should definitely read the whole series. A+
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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