Cecily von Ziegesar, Author, Christina Ricci, Read by , read by Christina Ricci, with gossip read by Maria deLuca. Time Warner AudioBooks $16.98 (0p) ISBN 978-1-58621-570-5

For anyone who's ever wished to be a fly on the wall observing a clique of super-rich, super-shallow teens on Manhattan's Upper East Side, this audiobook offers the perfect opportunity. Ricci has the easy, unaffected attitude to play cool observer/participant in a milieu of hard partying and harsh social climbing. As fans of her films might expect, Ricci nails the slang and contemporary phrasing. Talk of sex, alcohol and money abounds—replete with occasional expletives that make the raw language ring true. An e-mail note from Gossip Girl (read by deLuca), someone who is anonymously part of the scene, opens each chapter and, in an unusual twist, listeners can read similar entries or do their own dishing at www.gossipgirl.net . At the book's heart, the Blair-Nate-Serena triangle and all its tangents will likely have teens and young adults transfixed. The success of subsequent Gossip Girl print novels, in addition to the proliferation of new TV shows like Rich Girls and the recent documentary Rich Kids , indicate a continuing appetite for such fare. The Gossip Girls books have also been repackaged for adults, demonstrating their crossover appeal. All told, this sharp production adds some spice to the gossip-fiction menu. Ages 15-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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