From Publishers Weekly
goes to college in this tart satire of the class of 2014, centering on four mixed-up Dexter College freshmen who stumble through their first semester trying on life, love, and drugs. There's pretty rich girl Shipley, rebel-without-a-cause Eliza, repressed-artist Tom, and hippie-spawn Nick. With a total population of only nineteen hundred, Dexter was a small college in a small town, but it still felt overwhelming compared to high school, the kids discover, but the really scary bit is the newfound freedom—from families, histories, and their adolescent identities. In real life, this might be where the adults come in handy, but at Dexter, teachers (other than lesbian Professor Rosen) are nearly nonexistent, and the folks at home are distracted, disillusioned, or dolts. Plenty of Animal House
antics and wiseacre banter keep this light and breezy, but von Ziegesar, whose Gossip Girl novels spawned the megahit TV series, adds a crisp and surprisingly steely edge that keeps the precocious teens from devolving entirely into smug knuckleheads. (June)
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Adult fans of von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl novels for Young Adults and the spin-off TV series will want to pack up their mini-fridges and trade in their business casual for their old university sweatshirts because the over-the-top story lines they've come to know and love have grown up (a little) and gone to college. The fictional Dexter College in Maine is full of collegiate stereotypes presented so lightheartedly it's hard not to crack a smile of recognition, and von Ziegesar's choice to set the scene in 1992 leaves room for entertaining throwback anecdotes (Bill Clinton is elected president! No one has an iPod . . . or even a cell phone!). A motley handful of protagonists remain semi-relatable despite their penchant for taking the fork in the road of decision making clearly marked “wrong” more times than not.Enter von Ziegesar's ability to create enough scandal that the pages practically propel themselves, only to leave you hanging when the novel ends abruptly. Closing her novel as the crew heads home for winter break after only one semester at school, von Ziegesar just might have another series up her sleeve . . . . --Annie Bostrom