Gossip Girl: I Like It Like That

A Gossip Girl Novel


By Cecily von Ziegesar

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The wickedly funny fifth book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series that inspired the original hit CW show and the new series coming to HBO Max’s Spring 2020 launch season (alongside hit series such as Pretty Little Liars and Friends).

It’s spring break and love is in the air. Or is that a blend of Chanel no. 9 and Gucci Rush? Is there a difference?

Blair moves in with Serena and they’re back to being best friends. Will the love-fest last, or will they end up tearing out one another’s newly highlighted hair? And speaking of new, Nate is on the straight and narrow, playing Nate-in-shining-armor to his crazy new girlfriend, Georgie. But he will definitely get more than he bargained for when he, Georgie, Blair, and Serena end up hanging out together in Sun Valley, Idaho. Back in Manhattan, Jenny is spending time with a mysteriously nice new boyfriend and Dan is spending time crying in the office of the Red Letter literary journal. And Vanessa–wait, is that Vanessa shopping at Barneys with a guy in a Lacoste shirt?

The long cold winter is over and the sun is finally shining along Fifth Avenue. The trees are in bloom and NYC’s most fabulous are ready for a truly outrageous vacation!


Copyright © 2004 by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy company

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.


Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group USA

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

For more of your favorite series, go to www.pickapoppy.com

First eBook Edition: May 2004

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

ISBN: 978-0-316-04202-4

Be sure to read all the novels in the #1 New York Times bestselling GOSSIP GIRL series

Gossip Girl

You Know You Love Me

All I Want Is Everything

Because I'm Worth It

I Like It Like That

You're The One That I Want

Nobody Does It Better

Nothing Can Keep Us Together

Only In Your Dreams

Would I Lie To You

Don't You Forget About Me

It Had To Be You

And keep your eye out for a new era of Gossip Girl: The Carlyles, coming May 2008.


the it girl

Be sure to read all the novels in the New York Times bestselling it girl series

the it girl





And keep your eye out for Tempted, coming June 2008.

gossip girl novels created by Cecily von Ziegesar:

Gossip Girl

You Know You Love Me

All I Want Is Everything

Because I'm Worth It

I Like It Like That

You're The One That I Want

Nobody Does It Better

Nothing Can Keep Us Together

Only In Your Dreams

Would I Lie To You

Don't You Forget About Me

It Had To Be You

And keep your eye out for a new era of Gossip Girl: The Carlyles, coming May 2008.

If you like gossip girl, you may also enjoy:

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith

Poseur by Rachel Maude

There's no place like home

"What island are we going to, anyway?" Blair Waldorf asked her mother. Eleanor Waldorf Rose was perched on the edge of Blair's bed, watching her daughter get ready for school while they discussed spring break.

"Oahu, dear. I thought I told you. We're going to that resort on the North Shore, so the boys can learn to surf." Eleanor cupped her hands around her almost-seven-months-pregnant belly and frowned at the cream-colored walls as if trying to channel the baby's preference about wallpaper. She was due in June, and Blair would be off to college soon afterward. Today Eleanor and her decorator would discuss her plan to turn Blair's room into a baby girl's nursery.

"But I've already been to Oahu," Blair wailed dramatically. She'd known for weeks that they were going to Hawaii for spring break, but until now she hadn't thought to ask where. She kicked her antique mahogany dresser drawer shut and stood in front of the full-length mirror on the back of her closet door, primping. Her close-cropped brown hair was neatly tousled; her white cashmere V-neck was just deep enough to suggest a hint of cleavage without her having to worry about being sent home by Mrs. M, the headmistress, for dressing like a slut; and her new turquoise Sigerson Morrison flats looked so excellent with bare legs, she decided not to put on tights, even though it had been an unusually frigid March and she was going to freeze her ass off. "I want to go someplace new, " she added, pouting into the mirror as she applied a second coat of Chanel lip gloss.

"I know, sweet pea." Her mother slid off the bed and squatted down to eyeball a particularly dangerous-looking electrical outlet in the skirting board near the window. Once the decorating was finished she would have top hire someone to baby-proof the entire house. "But you've never been to the North Shore. Aaron says the surfing is the best in the world."

To Blair's dismay, her mother was wearing beige velour track pants with the word Juicy on the butt.

Hello, inappropriate?!

"So do I, like, not exist anymore?" Blair demanded. She dragged her baby blue shearling Dior saddle bag out of the closet and dumped her school stuff into it. "First you're kicking me out of my room, and now I have no say about where we go for vacation?"

"The boys are buying some surfing things for our trip right now. You might want to have a quick look on Aaron's computer. See if there's anything you want," her mother answered distractedly. She was on her hands and knees now, circuiting the room, checking for any dangers that might be lurking from a baby's point of view. "You know, Iwas thinking apricot for the color scheme—so it's girly, but not too pink? But now I'm thinking maybe a greeny yellow might be even nicer. Endive."

Blair had had enough. She didn't want to go to the North Shore of Oahu, she had no interest in buying surfing equipment, she didn't want to talk about color schemes for the stupid baby's nursery, and she certainly didn't need to look at the word Juicy on her mother's wide-load, pregnant ass for a moment longer. With a final spritz of her favorite Marc Jacobs perfume, she left for school without even saying good-bye.

"Yo, Blair. Come here a minute!" her seventeen-year-old stepbrother yelled from his room as she stomped by.

Blair stopped and poked her head into the room. Aaron and her twelve-year-old brother, Tyler, were sharing Aaron's natural-fiber desk chair—all brotherly—while they ordered surfing gear online with Cyrus Rose's credit card. Tyler had stopped combing his hair in an attempt to grow dreadlocks just like Aaron's, and he looked as if he had some sort of foul hair fungus. Blair could hardly believe this was the room she was going to have to live in until she went off to college. Aaron's hemp bedspread and natural sea-grass carpet were littered with old reggae album covers, beer bottles, and Aaron's dirty clothes, and the room stank of his herbal cigarettes and those revolting soy hot dogs he was always eating—raw.

"What size are you?" Aaron asked. "We can order you a wet shirt. It keeps the board from chafing."

"They come in cool colors," Tyler added enthusiastically. "Neon-green and stuff."

Like Blair would ever be caught dead in neon-green, let alone a neon-green wet shirt.

She could feel her lower lip trembling with a mixture of horror and overwhelming sorrow. Here it was, only seven forty-five in the morning, and she was already on the verge of tears.

"Found 'em!" Cyrus Rose, her eyesore of a stepfather, boomed from behind her. He waddled down the hallway from the master bedroom, wearing only a red silk bathrobe tied with a dangerously loose knot. His bristly gray mustache needed a trim, and his fat face was red and oily. He waved a pair of enormous orange swim trunks at Blair. They had little blue fish printed all over them and would have been kind of cute on anyone but him. "Love these. Boys are going to order me a wet shirt to match!" he announced happily.

The idea of spending Easter break watching Cyrus make a fool of himself on a surfboard wearing his orange swim trunks and a matching orange wet shirt was enough to drive Blair to real tears. She slunk away down the hall to the foyer, yanked her coat out of the coat closet, and hurried off to meet her best friend. Hopefully Serena would think of something—anything—to cheer her up.

As if that were even possible.

S has a stroke of genius

Serena van der Woodsen sipped her latte and squinted gloomily down at Fifth Avenue from her perch on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her abundant pale blond hair overflowed the hood of her belted white cashmere sweater coat and spilled onto her shoulders. There it was again on the side of the M102 bus—the ad for Serena's Tears. She had no problem with the way she looked in the picture. She liked how the cold wind had whipped her yellow sundress up between her St. Barts-tanned knees, and how even though she'd been wearing only sandals and a sundress in the middle of Central Park in February, the goose bumps that had studded her arms and legs had been carefully airbrushed out. She even liked how she wasn't wearing lipstick, so her perfectly full lips looked sort of chapped and bruised. It was the tears in her enormous dark blue eyes that bothered her. Of course that was what had caused Les Best to name his new scent Serena's Tears in the first place, but the real reason Serena had been crying in the photo was because that was the day—no, the very minute—Aaron Rose (whom she was pretty sure she'd been in love with, at least for a week) had broken up with her. And what bothered her, what made her feel like crying all over again, was that now that they were broken up, she had no one to love, and no one to love her.

Not that she didn't love almost every boy she'd ever met, and not that every boy in the world didn't totally love her. It was impossible not to. But she wanted someone to love her and shower her with attention the way only a boy who was completely in love with her could. That rare sort of love. True love. The kind of love she'd never had.

Feeling uncharacteristically dark and melancholy, she pulled a Gauloise cigarette from out of her rumpled black corduroy Cacharel bag and lit it just to watch it burn.

"I feel as ugly as the weather," she murmured, but then broke into a smile when she saw her best friend, Blair, walking up the steps toward her. She picked up the extra latte she'd bought, stood up, and held it out. "Kick-ass shoes," she remarked, admiring Blair's latest purchase.

"You can borrow them," Blair offered generously. "But I'll kill you if you spill anything on them." She tugged on Serena's sleeve. "Come on, we're gonna be late."

The two girls ambled slowly down the steps and up Fifth Avenue toward school, sipping their coffee as they went. Cold wind blasted through the bare-limbed branches of the trees in Central Park, making them shiver.

"Jesus, it's cold," Blair hissed. She tucked her free hand into Serena's white cashmere sweater-coat pocket the way only a best friend can. "So," she began to vent. She'd gotten control of her tears, but her voice was a little unsteady. "Not only does my mother walk around, like, stroking her ovaries, but today the decorator is coming to turn my room into Baby Central, in shades of radicchio and ass!"

All of a sudden, Serena's longing for true love seemed kind of trivial. Her parents hadn't gotten divorced because her dad was gay, her middle-aged mom wasn't pregnant, her stepbrother hadn't come on to first her and then her best friend and then ditched them both, and she wasn't being forced to move out of her room. Not only that, she wasn't still a virgin at the grand old age of seventeen, and she hadn't kissed her Yale interviewer and then almost lost her virginity to her Yale alumni interviewer, completely messing up her chances of getting in. As a matter of fact, when she really thought about it, her life was just peachy compared to Blair's. "But you get Aaron's room, right? And it's just been redecorated for him—it's nice."

"If you like hemp curtains and ecofriendly ginkgo-leaf furniture," Blair scoffed. "Besides," she added, "Aaron is an idiot. Going to Oahu for spring break was totally his idea."

Serena didn't think Oahu sounded so bad, but she wasn't about to contradict Blair when she was in a bad mood and risk getting her eyes poked out. The two girls crossed Eighty-sixth Street against the light, banging against each other as they ran to keep from getting mowed down by a taxi. When they reached the sidewalk, Serena suddenly stopped in her tracks, her huge blue eyes gleaming excitedly.

"Hey! Why don't you move in with me?!"

Blair crouched down to hug her frozen bare calves. "Can we keep moving?" she asked grumpily.

"You can live in Erik's room," Serena continued excitedly. "And you can totally screw Oahu and come skiing in Sun Valley with us!!"

Blair stood up and blew into her coffee, squinting at her friend through the steam. Ever since Serena had come back from boarding school Blair had completely hated her, but sometimes she totally loved her. She took one last sip and tossed her half-empty cup into a trash can. "Help me move in after school?"

Serena slipped her arm through Blair's and whispered in her ear, "You know you love me."

Blair smiled and rested her trouble-weary head against Serena's shoulder as the two girls turned right on Ninety-third Street. Only a few hundred yards beyond stood the great royal blue doors of the Constance Billard School for Girls. Ponytailed girls in gray pleated uniform skirts milled around outside, chattering away as the notorious pair of seniors approached.

"I heard Serena got a huge modeling contract after she did that perfume ad. She's going to bring her baby back from France. You know, the one she had last year before she came back to the city? All the supermodels have babies," chirped Rain Hoffstetter.

"I heard she and Blair are going to get an apartment downtown and raise the baby themselves instead of going to college. Blair decided not to ever have sex with guys, and obviously, Serena has had enough sex to last her whole lifetime. Just look at them," intoned Laura Salmon. "Total lesbos."

"I bet they think they're making some big feminist statement or something," Isabel Coates observed.

"Yeah, but they won't feel so good about it when their parents are, like, forced to disown them," Kati Farkas put in. The first bell rang, summoning the girls into school.

"Hey," Serena and Blair called over as they passed the group of girls on their way inside.

"Cool shoes!" Rain, Laura, Isabel, and Kati sang back in reply, even though only Blair was wearing new shoes. Serena was wearing the same old scuffed brown suede lace-up boots she'd been wearing since October. Blair always had the best shoes and the best clothes, and Serena always looked gorgeous, anyway, even in her frayed, cigarette-burned boarding school clothes. Which was yet another reason to hate the pair, or to love them, depending on who you were and what mood you were in.

The only unbaked boy on the lax team

"Got it!" Nate Archibald twirled his lacrosse stick over his head, scooped up the ball, and tossed it expertly to Charlie Dern. His flushed cheeks were smudged with dirt, and his golden-brown curls were matted with sweat and bits of dried Central Park grass, causing him to look even hotter than the hottest Abercrombie & Fitch model in the entire catalog. He lifted his shirt to wipe the sweat from his glittering green eyes, and even the pigeons roosting in the trees nearby cooed with pleasure at the sight. The group of junior girls from Seaton Arms watching on the sidelines tittered with excitement.

"Whoa. He must have worked out a lot in prison," breathed one girl.

"I heard his parents are sending him out to Alaska after graduation to work in a tuna-fish cannery," said her friend. "They're worried he'll go back to dealing drugs if he goes to college."

"I heard he's got this heart condition that's really rare. He has to smoke pot so he won't have attacks," said another. "It's actually kind of cool."

Nate flashed them an oblivious grin, and the girls simultaneously closed their eyes to keep from falling over backward. God, he was perfect.

It was the beginning of the season and no team captain had yet been appointed, so each boy was on his best behavior. After their usual scrimmage, Coach Michaels had asked them to free-throw for a while. Nate was throwing with his friend Jeremy Scott Tomkinson when he heard his cell phone ring in the pile of coats. He signaled to Jeremy and then sprinted over to answer it.

Georgina Spark, Nate's girlfriend of several weeks, was currently residing in an exclusive drug-and-alcohol-rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut, and was only allowed to make supervised phone calls at certain times of the day. The last time Nate had missed her call, she'd been so bummed out, she'd gone on a bender and had later been found on the roof of the clinic, chewing Nicorette gum and sniffing a bottle of nail polish remover, both of which she'd stolen from a nurse's purse.

"You're panting," Georgie observed coyly when Nate answered. "Were you thinking about me?"

"I'm at lax practice," he explained. Coach Michaels spat noisily into the grass only a few feet away. "I think it's just about over, though. Are you okay?"

As usual, Georgie ignored the question. "I love how you're all athletic and healthy and chem-free, and I'm sitting in this jail, pining for you. Just like a princess in a fairy tale."

Or not.

A few weeks earlier, Nate had been busted by the cops while buying a bag of weed in Central Park and sent to outpatient rehab at Breakaway, in Greenwich. Nate had first met Georgie in teen group therapy. One night, during a tremendous snowstorm, Georgie invited Nate back to her mansion to hang out. They got baked together, and then Georgie disappeared into the bathroom to pop prescription pills. Soon enough, she passed out in her underwear on the bed, and Nate had had absolutely no choice but to call the people at Breakaway to come get her. And ever since then, they'd been boyfriend and girlfriend.

That would be some messed-up fairy tale.

"So the reason I'm calling is … ," Georgie crooned into the phone.

Nate's teammates milled around him, pulling on their coats and chugging from the bottles of Gatorade they'd brought with them. Practice was over. Coach Michaels spat a wad of phlegm near the toe of Nate's sneaker and pointed a gnarly forefinger at him.

"I'd better go," Nate told Georgie. "I think Coach wants to talk about appointing me captain."

"Captain Nate!" She squealed into the phone. "My cute little captain!"

"So I'll call you later, okay?"

"Wait, wait, wait! I just wanted you to know I got my mom to convince these monkeys to let me out starting Saturday, as long as I'm with an adult or responsible mentor, so we're totally going to my mom's ski condo in Sun Valley for your spring break, okay? Will you come?"

Coach Michaels growled something at Nate and put his hands on his old-man hips. Nate didn't have to think about Georgie's question for very long, anyway. Sun Valley sounded a heck of a lot better than regrouting his dad's old catamaran up at their summer house in Mt. Desert, Maine.

"Of course I'll come. Definitely. Look, I have to go."

"Yippee!" Georgie squealed. "I love you," she added hoarsely, and then hung up.

Nate tossed the phone on top of his navy blue wool Hugo Boss coat and rubbed his hands together energetically. His teammates had all gone home. "What's up, Coach?"

Coach Michaels took a step toward him, shaking his head as he sucked in snot from his nasal passages.


"Last year I almost made you captain when Doherty crapped up his knee," the coach said. He spat and shook his head again. "Good thing I didn't."


Nate's hopeful smile cracked a little. "Why's that?"

"Because you're not captain material, Archibald!" the coach barked. "Look at you, gabbing on the phone like a playboy while the rest of your teammates are out there dogging it. And don't think I don't know about your getting busted for dope." He made a little growling sound. "You're no leader, Archibald." He spat again and turned his back on Nate, jamming his hands in his red Lands' End parka pockets as he walked away. "You're just a rotten pile of disappointment."

"But I haven't been smok—" Nate called after him, his voice trailing off into the wind. The sky was steel gray, and the bare tree branches creaked and moaned. Nate stood alone on the brown March grass, holding his lacrosse stick and shivering a little in the cold. His father was a former navy captain, so he was used to shrugging off the power-tripping tirades of grumpy old authority figures. But it was still pretty outrageous that Coach Michaels thought the only nonstoned guy on the team wasn't fit to be captain. Coach hadn't even given him a chance to defend himself.

He bent down and picked up his coat. If he were stoned right now, he would have smiled serenely at the coach's accusations and lit a joint. Instead, he slung his coat over his shoulders, gave the finger to the coach's retreating back, and trudged across the darkening meadow toward Fifth Avenue.

Charlie, Jeremy, and Anthony Avuldsen were waiting for him on the pathway leading out of the park. Anthony was too much of a stoner even to play sports, except for the occasional game of soccer in the park, but he always met the guys after practice with ready-rolled joints and a big grin on his freckly, blond-goateed face.

Slowly the boys made their way out of the park and onto Fifth Avenue. "Dude, he made you captain, didn't he?" Charlie asked, his voice cracking the way it did when he was high, which was basically all the time.

Nate grabbed the bottle of blue Gatorade out of Charlie's hands and took a swig. Even though these guys were his best friends, he wasn't about to tell them what had happened. "Coach offered it to me, but I turned him down. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm already into Brown, anyway, so it's not like I need lax captain on my transcript. And I'll probably miss a few weekend games hanging out in Connecticut with Georgie. I told Coach to give it to a junior."

The three boys raised their eyebrows in surprised admiration. "Jesus, dude," breathed Jeremy. "That's like, huge of you."

All of a sudden, Nate felt the sort of rush he might have felt if he'd actually told the coach to make a junior captain instead of him. How huge he might have been, if only that was what had really happened.

"Yeah, well." He smiled uncomfortably and buttoned up his coat. Not only had he lied about the coach offering him the position of captain, he'd also lied about his chances of being accepted at Brown. Sure, his dad had gone there, and sure, he'd had a kick-ass interview, but he'd been baked as a loaf of bread for every exam and standardized test he'd taken since eighth grade, so his grades and scores were barely mediocre.

"Here." Anthony held out a burning spliff. He had a tendency to forget on an hourly basis that Nate had quit smoking the stuff. "It's Cuban. I bought it from my cousin who goes to Rollins down in Florida."


On Sale
Aug 1, 2008
Page Count
224 pages