12/18/2012 10:47 am ET

My Decade With 'Gossip Girl'

About 10 years ago, the summer before I entered eighth grade, the first book in the Gossip Girl series came out. All the girls in my summer camp bunk were reading it. I spent most of that summer reading The Catcher in the Rye, with little desire to get sucked into what seemed like Gossip Girl's vapid world.

But a few months later, on an overnight field trip, I had no choice. I was forced to listen to a hour-long reading of Gossip Girl. Fifteen girls were freezing in sleeping bags in a tiny, dark cabin, and we weren't allowed to bring iPods to drown out the noise. Cell phones, if we even had them, were likewise prohibited.

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