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Lucky: It Girl #5    by Cecily von Ziegesar order for
by Cecily von Ziegesar
Order:  USA  Can
Poppy, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

Lucky is the fifth installment in Cecily von Ziegesar's It Girl series, a spin-off on her popular Gossip Girl books. I will confess that I have read none of either series until now, but I thought it was high time to see what all the fuss is about - and why my friends in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are reading these teen novels.

At first I was a little appalled at how racy the books are. Von Ziegesar is unabashed in her point of view that all her teens care about is attracting the opposite sex, being better than their friends, and wearing the best labels. It seems like 10% of her word count is given to dropping brand names; everything from wallets to comforters to shoes is referred to by its label.

About halfway through, however, I began to catch on. I couldn't put Lucky down! Jenny has now been at Waverly boarding school for six weeks, and already has gotten in over her head. The novel starts the morning after a wild party at a local barn, which has just happened to be burnt to the ground. But who did it? Two students were going at it in a horse stall and Jenny saw them smoking. Jenny's latest crush, Julian, had a lighter that was found in the barn. Several other students have raised small scandals about other things, enough to get them suspected by the dean. Dean Marymount is determined to find a scapegoat if he can't find the real perpetrator.

The whole sequence of events takes place over five days - five days during which there are prospective students roaming around campus, romances dying and starting, and revenge being plotted. By the end of Lucky, I was itching to read the four previous novels so I could know the backstory behind the characters. This light read was an escape from reality ... and that is why it is so appealing to women of all ages.

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