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The It Girl    by Cecily von Ziegesar order for
It Girl
by Cecily von Ziegesar
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Take the Gossip Girl series (including the character in it who changed the most, young Jenny of the well-developed chest) and move it to a country boarding school setting. What do you get? The It Girl, of course.

Jenny's exaggerated rep precedes her to elite Waverly Academy, a boarding school for rich kids in New York horse country. Though cell phone conversations are not allowed (one of many Waverly Owl rules and regulations), instant messages fly, full of insecurities, rumors and wild extrapolations from reality. As situations arise, Jenny struggles to reconcile Old Jenny with New Jenny (who still utters the un-cool Jeepers) - which of them will take charge?

She has two room-mates, Callie and Brett, at odds with each other due to a misunderstanding over the expulsion of their other close friend, Tinsley. During the summer, Callie told her boyfriend Easy that she loves him ... and he didn't reciprocate. Brett quickly falls for a hot young new teacher named Eric, and word spreads about their meetings. Jenny's attracted to Easy, but he's her room-mate's boyfriend - a situation that gets Jenny hauled before the school Disciplinary Committee even before she settles in.

Struggling to fit in (and have the fun New Jenny has promised herself) at Waverly, the newbie muses that 'Boarding school was turning out to be like a painting by Chagall - full of pranks, mind games, and mysteries.' As always, von Ziegesar delivers bubbling, frothy fun in this new It Girl series starring my favorite of her characters.

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