This installment in the long-running Gossip Girl series, which features the original cast, is a seriously fun, guilty pleasure read. All the things that readers of the series love are here in this nearly 400-page tome: the shameless label dropping, the sarcastic one-liners, the hook-ups, the ill-timed and ill-advised behavior of Manhattan’s young elite. The book is a fast-paced romp that chronicles the failed romances and friendships of New York’s privileged youth as they navigate the choppy waters of winter breaks spent at home. Blair and Serena are at it again, and over Nate, just like always. Dan and Vanessa are finally together and for good – or so Dan thinks until he finds her in bed with her half-naked T.A. And Jenny is M.I.A. until the last two parts of the book, when she gives Blair and Serena a run for their money with Nate. The real reason this book is a must-read, however, is for the author’s orchestration of language. Von Ziegesar is a master of words. True, the poems she has Dan pen are pretty awful, but her one-line interjections in regular narration and the way she plays with words in general are pleasing to read. It is her way with words what sets von Ziegesar’s series apart from all of the other young adult novels and makes it one that adults will enjoy as well. These are actually literary treasures while other writers, even such YA mainstays as Judy Blume, use too many helping verbs and poorly placed fragments. Instead of telling us how characters feel and leaving us to decide whether we believe it, von Ziegesar makes us feel along with the characters – whether it’s anger at Vanessa for being so foolish or disappointment in Nate for smoking weed and drinking until he can’t remember who he is. Absolutely a must have for those of you who love the TV show or the series.