The It Girl

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
The It Girl Book Poster Image
Same bad-girl 'tude in Gossip Girl spinoff.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 49 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

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


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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15 and 16-year-old Written byPopcorn1111 January 21, 2011

Don't worry

It's a very suspending book that any teen would enjoy, sure parents are worried about the language but that doesn't mean your child will use it. My ch... Continue reading
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 gulit... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 25, 2019


Tbh, I read the 1st and was like YEA BOIIIIII Tjehen you see all the sex and drugs and crap and how abt Heath being called 'pony' it was too too too... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycj1294 October 30, 2018

Awesome book

I loved this book. I read it when I was goign into 7th grade and I really enjoyed it. Some argue that it can be innapropriate but by that age, youve probably he... Continue reading

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 spin-off 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate