An It Girl Novel


By Cecily von Ziegesar

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Having a roommate at elite Waverly Academy means nightly sleepovers and double the designer wardrobe. But Callie Vernon never really liked late-night girl talk or swapping cashmere sweaters with her younger, rosy-cheeked roomie, Jenny Humphrey. So when Jenny stole her longtime boyfriend, Easy Walsh, Callie didn’t feel that guilty about turning right around and kissing him behind Jenny’s back. Okay, maybe a little guilty, but it certainly didn’t stop her from enjoying it. Now, if only Easy would stop being so irritatingly indecisive and dump Jenny already!

While the two roommates are sharing a boyfriend, the rest of Dumbarton’s residents are sharing their feelings at the newly founded Women of Waverly club–aka, WOW! Everyone is totally bonding, revealing their most personal secrets, and hugging out their past rivalries. But despite the sharing-is-caring vibe, there are some things these girls aren’t spilling–like who’s making special late-night trips to the crater . . . and with whom.

Now it’s only a matter of time before all the newfound girl power explodes into a massive girl fight. But this battle goes well beyond the ivy colored brick walls of Dumberton–it’s about who will be Waverly’s next It Girl.


Copyright © 2007 by Alloy Entertainment

All rights reserved.

Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group USA

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at HachetteBookGroupUSA.com

First eBook Edition: November 2007

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: 978-0-316-04193-5

It Girls novels created by Cecily von Ziegesar:

The It Girl




If you like the it 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

and keep your eye out for

Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith, coming October 2007



Jenny Humphrey stepped out of Jameson House after portraiture class and took in a breath of crisp fall air. Two tall, lanky senior guys in cargo pants and Waverly sweatshirts were tossing a Frisbee around on the lush green quad. They paused as she passed, and Jenny felt herself blushing. She walked away quickly, the fallen leaves crackling beneath her mustard-yellow suede ballet flats, wishing more than almost anything that she were headed down Amsterdam Avenue with her dad to get a couple of vanilla buttercream cupcakes from the Viennese bakery around the corner from their Upper West Side apartment. All she wanted was to get lost on the streets of Manhattan among millions of strangers, none of whom would look at her and think, There goes the girl Easy Walsh is about to dump.

Jenny tugged at the hem of her short gray wool Anthroplogie miniskirt. She'd spent a little extra time getting ready today, anticipating seeing Easy for the first time since Saturday's disastrous party while the Dumbarton girls were all supposed to be on lockdown. She wore a pair of dark pin-striped Wolford tights that made her legs look longer than they were and a black RL button-down with three-quarter-length sleeves that made her chest look smaller than it was. But then Easy hadn't even bothered to show up for class. Jenny's heart had sunk when Mrs. Silver closed the door to the studio and Easy's almost-black curly mop was nowhere to be found. What did that mean? Was he actually avoiding her?

She hadn't spoken with Easy since the terrible revelation—during a very public game of I Never on Saturday night, no less—that he had taken Callie Vernon, her unbearably tall, skinny, beautiful roommate who just happened to be his ex-girlfriend, out to an intimate dinner with his father. Not only had he not invited Jenny, his supposed girlfriend, he hadn't even told her about it, though apparently half the world already knew. And then the rest of the world found out after Tinsley "Definition of Pure Evil" Carmichael broke the news to an entire roomful of happily partying Waverly Owls during the I Never game.

Easy had e-mailed Jenny on Saturday night after the party disastrously disbanded, asking if she wanted to talk, but she'd written back and said she wasn't ready—she needed to figure out what the hell she was feeling first. But even having said that, she couldn't help hoping he would try to sneak in to see her with a handful of wildflowers or slip one of his goofy caricatures into her student mailbox. She didn't want to be one of those girls who said the exact opposite of what she meant, but still—it would have been nice to see Easy try.

Suddenly something sharp hit Jenny in the back of the neck, and she whirled around, expecting to see one of the Frisbee guys rushing toward her apologetically. But instead, a white paper airplane made of thick watercolor paper lay on the cobblestone path near her feet. She picked it up and unfolded it, her heart starting to thud in her chest, but nothing was written inside.

"Psst!" She glanced toward the cluster of birch trees to the left of Jameson House. There, nestled among them, a yellow leaf stuck behind his ear, was the boy she couldn't stop thinking about. Easy's enormous dark blue eyes looked nervous as he motioned her over.

Jenny shuffled slowly in his direction, a vision of Easy sitting across a candlelit dinner table from Callie and his father, chatting and laughing, flashing across her brain. She started to feel a little queasy and tried to replace the image with the memory of Sunday, when she'd hung out in the Dumbarton common room with Brett and Kara and even, surprisingly enough, Callie. They'd all complained about boys—no specifics, just general, feel-good, boy-dissing bonding. It wasn't that long ago they were swinging from trees, reaching for their bananas, Callie had declared, and then they'd all made monkey noises the rest of the night. Now, seeing Easy among the leafy branches, Jenny had to suppress an ooooh ooooh eeeeee eeeee!

"Hey," she said instead.

Easy's smile fell, as if he had been expecting a friendlier greeting, and Jenny felt herself softening. "Why are you hiding in the bushes?" She raised an eyebrow.

He stepped out from the thatch of trees, glancing around. Easy was wearing a Waverly rugby shirt covered in grass stains, and his normally bright eyes were a little bloodshot, as if he hadn't been sleeping well. Well, it was only fair that he'd have trouble sleeping—she'd been tossing and turning for the past three nights, visions of tall, gorgeous Easy and tall, gorgeous Callie plaguing her brain.

"Didn't want Silver to see me." He rubbed a hand over his eyes. "I told her I was sick." "Then why are you here?" Jenny couldn't help but blurt out.

Easy's dark blue eyes clouded over. "I . . . don't know. I guess I just wanted to talk to you." "Oh." Jenny fumbled through her bag for her brandless white aviators that she'd bought on the street in SoHo before school had started. It was sunny out, but mostly she didn't want Easy to be able to see exactly what she was thinking. Her brother, Dan, used to tell her that her face was about as hard to read as a stop sign. After rustling through her disorganized bag without any luck, she stopped searching, not wanting to accidentally unearth a tampon or something equally embarrassing. Instead, she shaded her eyes as she glanced up. "Wanna walk me back to the dorm? I've got to get ready for practice." He nodded slowly and they turned in the direction of Dumbarton.

They walked side by side down the cobblestone path, the shouts of students at sports practices in the distance ringing through the clean autumn air. They were both silent for a few minutes, and Jenny became painfully aware of the enormous space between them. Easy walked just out of her reach, and she had no idea what he was thinking. She wanted to turn and tackle him into a pile of leaves and kiss him, but she just . . . couldn't. She started to dig through her bag again, at last finding the sunglasses. She untangled them from the Owl pendant key chain she'd bought at the little shop in Rhinecliff that sold all things Waverly and slipped the aviators on her face.

A pack of girls in plaid miniskirts and kneesocks huddling on the library steps stared at them as they passed. All of Waverly had been buzzing with the revelations from the I Never game on Saturday night—there was Tinsley Carmichael, and Brett Messerschmidt's unmasked virginity to discuss, not to mention the revelation that Jeremiah Mortimer, Brett's longtime boyfriend, was suddenly not a virgin, and neither was the pretty blond St. Lucius girl who had mysteriously followed him over to Dumbarton. And of course the fact that Easy Walsh had sneaked out on a date with Callie Vernon behind Jenny's back. The fact that Alison Quentin and Alan St. Girard had hooked up at the party seemed totally banal in comparison and ranked relatively low on the Waverly gossip meter, even though hookups usually received top billing.

Easy shuffled his feet as they walked along. "I just . . . wanted to apologize. Again." Jenny sighed. She knew he was sorry. But that didn't really mean anything. Sorry about what? That he'd taken Callie out to dinner instead of her? That he'd hurt and embarrassed her? That he'd completely messed things up between them?

Or was he sorry because he knew he was going to break her heart?

Jenny stopped walking. She'd overheard some girls in her English class talking about how they'd gone apple picking over the weekend, and Jenny couldn't help picturing herself there with Easy, his hands around her waist as she reached for the highest, most perfect red apple she could find and plucked it off the tree. She'd never actually been apple picking before, but it sounded so idyllic. She wondered if they'd ever have the chance to go now. Or if maybe he'd be taking Callie instead. She was so tall he wouldn't even have to help her reach the stupid apple.

"I guess I'm just . . . confused." Jenny stared at the ground. "Why did you want to go out to dinner with Callie?" she finally asked, wondering if Easy could have feelings for both of them at the same time. Maybe, but Jenny wasn't interested in being one of the people Easy loved. She wanted to be the one.

"It's not that I wanted to." Easy turned to look at her, and she was glad she'd found her sunglasses. "It just seemed easier that way." He leaned down and grabbed a fistful of dry leaves off the ground, then opened his hand and let them float back down to the grass. She waited for him to say more, but he didn't.

It was not the answer she wanted—although she had no idea what answer would have made things all better. Maybe there wasn't one. Jenny stared at the brilliant orange oak trees behind Easy, avoiding his eyes. "I don't really know what to say to that. I think I need some time to figure things out." She bit her Stila lip-glossed lip. "Maybe you need to do some figuring out too." She held her breath, waiting for him to say that he didn't need to figure anything out. That it was her he was crazy about, and no amount of thinking would change that. That he was sorry, and that he would be right here waiting for her when she got her own feelings in order. Say it.

But Easy just nodded his head slowly, his hands buried deep into the pockets of his faded, paint-splattered Levi's. "'Kay," he half-whispered.

Jenny straightened up. She let out the air she'd been holding in, feeling suddenly . . . deflated. "All right. I'll see you later, then." Her voice came out much colder than she'd meant it to, so she tried to soften it. "Don't miss art class on Friday. You know Mrs. Silver loves you." Easy smiled. She could see his Adam's apple bobble in his throat. There was a patch of beard scruff beneath his chin that he had missed, and Jenny fought the urge to lean in and kiss him hard, right then and there. Maybe if she had, she could have made things go back to the way they were, before the stupid party, before the stupid dinner, before everything had gotten off track.

But he was already stepping backward, away from her, across the grass. "Right." He touched two fingers of his right hand to his forehead in a mock salute. "I'll . . . uh . . . see you then." Jenny turned toward the dorms, refusing to look back. What had just happened? Was it . . . over? Tears sprang to her eyes, but she gulped quickly and tried to think happy thoughts: chocolate-sprinkled cupcakes from the Viennese bakery; Barneys sample sales; rainy days curled up inside with an old Nancy Drew mystery; the stately, ivy-covered brick buildings all around her.

But happy thoughts weren't enough to erase the uneasiness she felt. Easy was everything she'd always wanted in a boyfriend—she'd felt so impossibly lucky that he liked her. But maybe that was just it. Maybe it was impossible.

From: JeremiahMortimer@stlucius.edu

To: BrettMesserschmitt@waverly.edu

Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2:08 P.M.

Subject: Please don't delete

Babe, please answer your phone . . . or let me come see you? I need to explain—I need to talk to you, in person. I'm so, so sorry. What I did was—well, it was the biggest mistake of my life. And for a guy like me, you know that's saying something.

Kidding. But please. Call me.

This is killing me. Please.

HeathFerro: Hey, sexy. Wanna come over and study for the bio test?

KaraWhalen: Uh . . . I'm not in bio.

HeathFerro: Oh. Well, how 'bout you come over and we fi nd something else to do?

KaraWhalen: That's a gallant offer, but I've got a real study date planned. Some other time.

HeathFerro: You mean it?

KaraWhalen: No.



"How come the women in here all have enormous boobs?" Brett Messerschmidt asked as she flipped the pages

of one of Kara Whalen's X-Men comics. She flicked a

lock of chin-length fire-engine-red hair out of her eyes. "Is that where they get their superpowers from or something?" The two girls lay on their stomachs on Brett's silky fuchsia Indian-print comforter, paging through a stack of Kara's comic books. Their chemistry lab had let out early—owing to an "experiment" by the group of geeks who were always huddled together in the library that had ended in a small explosion—and Brett and Kara had planned on using the time to study for their upcoming chem midterm. Their teacher, Mr. Shaw, hated his life and reportedly kept a tally of all the times he had made a student cry, so the test was practically guaranteed to be mind-blowingly impossible. But their study plan had lasted all of three minutes, before Brett flicked on her stereo and asked Kara to bring in some of her vintage comic books. Fortunately, Tinsley had a late-afternoon class on Tuesdays, so they had the room to themselves. Brett had made a point of memorizing Tinsley's schedule and taking advantage of times when her violet-eyed, eternally spiteful roommate wasn't around.

"I don't know," Kara admitted. "Lots of male illustrators, I guess." "Typical." Brett was still completely bitter about what had happened with Jeremiah. They had been broken up for all of a week and he had managed to actually sleep with someone else. To be fair, she was the one who'd broken up with him. But at least she had managed to keep her pants on—more or less—and that was more than she could say for him. "Guys. All they care about is boobs, boobs, boobs." She'd already told Jeremiah that it was over for good. A few pleading e-mails had appeared in her inbox, begging her to talk, but she'd deleted them without so much as opening them. If he wanted to stay with her, well, he'd have to find some way to reverse time and undo his hookup with that hippie chick, Elizabeth. Maybe he could look into that superpower.

"You should let some of that Jeremiah bitterness out," Kara advised, as if she could read Brett's mind. She wound a lock of stick-straight honey brown hair around her index finger. "Or it's going to eat away at you." Brett looked up at her in surprise, once again astonished that five days ago she hadn't even known Kara's name. She'd just been the Girl in Black who lived in the room next to the broom closet and was in a couple of her classes. Then, after Tin-sley had shown up to Saturday night's party wearing a sexy outfit from Kara's closetful of clothes by her designer mother, Kara had gone from quiet nobody to the cool girl. Cool girl who threw a Waverly mug of warm beer in sleazy Heath Ferro's face, Brett reminded herself. And now here they were: Kara lying on Brett's bed next to her, wearing a flouncy black-and-white polka-dotted skirt and a fitted white button-down, listening to cheesy '80s music and examining bodies of superheroines. What a difference a few days made.

"I can't help it," Brett admitted, twisting her rose-gold stackable rings around her fingers. "I'm just so . . . angry at him." "You know, when you think about him, your face turns practically the same color as your hair." Kara laughed as she turned over on her back. The corners of her wide-set greenish-brown eyes were accentuated with a teeny touch of Brett's Urban Decay Twice Baked eye shadow. She looked pretty—like she wasn't afraid of people actually noticing her anymore.

"Speaking of which . . ." Brett pulled a lock of her glossy hair in front of her eyes and examined it. It was practically the same shade as her Bourjois Code Red freshly manicured nails. "My roots are showing—I'm way overdue for a coloring. I'm thinking I might go less red this time." When Jacques, her colorist, had first made the mistake and used a blue red instead of a yellow red on her, Brett had been horrified, worried that everyone would start calling her Crayola or Muppet or something. But now she'd gotten used to her somewhat punk-rock coloring, even if it did make her stand out among all her natural-blond and pedigreed-brunette classmates.

"Definitely not." Kara tilted her honey-streaked head, shaking it slowly. "No one at Waverly has hair like you. You look like Jean Grey." She flicked through one of the X-Men comics, searching for a picture, and then held it up for Brett to see.

"Oh. When you put it that way . . ." Brett laughed. It did make her feel good to think that something made her unique. Not freak-show or trashy-Jersey-girl unique, but rather the-cool-girl-with-the-one-of-a-kind-red-hair unique. She ran her hand over her scalp, tousling her hair to hide the darker roots. "You know, we had a DC meeting over lunch today, and there was this case involving members of the—get this—Competitive Eating club." "What?" Kara sat up, tossing her head so that her hair fell neatly behind her shoulders. Tiny blondish wisps framed the edges of her face. "What the hell is that?" "You know. Like, they see how many hot dogs they can eat in ten minutes." Brett sat up too and turned toward Kara. "These two freshmen guys—probably the only two members—got caught stealing four pounds of raw hot dogs from the dining hall freezer after dinner last week." Kara raised her eyebrows in disbelief. "They defended themselves to the DC by saying they were 'gathering materials for club activities,'" Brett made air quotes with her long fingers, "and that they'd had to resort to covert methods because they hadn't received any funding." She rolled her eyes. "Does the entire male sex suffer from a complete inability to see beyond their carnal impulses?"

Kara leaned back on one elbow and shrugged her petite shoulders. "Well, they are freshmen." The comic book slid off the edge of the bed, landing with a slap on the hardwood floor next to Brett's neat piles of notebooks. Brett and Tinsley had moved their beds to opposite sides of Dumbarton 121 when they'd moved in, but that still wasn't far enough.

"Yes, but more important, they're male—which means they only think about immediate gratification, with no foresight into the future. I mean, come on—what about Easy?" Brett asked suddenly, sitting up to unbunch the bottoms of her Citizens of Humanity cigarette-leg jeans. "He certainly suffers from the same affliction. I still can't believe he took Callie out to dinner with his dad instead of Jenny." Kara bit her pink ChapSticked lip. "I saw Jenny last night at the art studio. She just looked so . . . sad." She grabbed her Dasani bottle from on top of Brett's worn oak nightstand and took a long sip. "Do you think she's going to be totally crushed?" "You mean if Easy and Callie get back together?" Brett shrugged. She honestly didn't know. It was weird. She'd been so used to Easy and Callie as a couple—they'd been practically inseparable all sophomore year—that it was strange to see him suddenly with someone else. But then, to her surprise, she'd quickly gotten used to it. Easy had always seemed a little too . . . nice for Callie. Something about Jenny and Easy together had almost seemed more natural, as if two artistic, like-minded souls had found each other. Not that Brett exactly believed in that romantic crap anymore.

Then again, if Easy was about to dump Jenny, maybe he wasn't as nice as she'd thought.

"Jenny's tougher than she looks," Brett finally answered, surprising herself. She reached up and fingered the gold hoops along the top of her left ear. She was always paranoid about her ears being sort of elfin-shaped, and hoped that the earrings would distract people from noticing.

Kara nodded and sucked in her cheeks like a goldfish, making Brett giggle. "Guys really do suck, don't they?" "Seriously. Why didn't we get the bulletin, like, years ago?" Brett grabbed one of the white goose-down pillows on her bed and started kneading it with her fingers. There wasn't anything especially profound about Kara's statement, but it made Brett's mind start to race. Guys did suck, truly. Why did she feel like she was the last to know? "If there can be a freaking Waverly club dedicated to the sport of stuffing as much food down the throat as possible, there should be a, like, Guys Suck club—we can let the frosh know before it's too late." Kara raised her thin, light brown eyebrows skeptically, running a palm over the ridges on the cap to her water bottle.

"Hey, I'd join it." Brett put the pillow down emphatically, and it landed on the plush comforter without a sound. Then she hopped off the bed, making her way toward the white iBook on her desk. "Just a place for us to get together and talk and support each other . . ." she went on, the idea taking form in her head. It would be sort of like what Tinsley had originally proposed for her Café Society, although that had immediately dissolved into an excuse to get drunk, do stupid things, and exclude as many people as possible. Brett sat down at her desk. "We could use a little sisterly spirit around here, you know?" Kara nodded from her perch on the bed. "Actually, I think that's kind of a brilliant idea. Why don't we put together an invite and send it around?" Brett smiled at her new friend before flipping open her iBook. As much as she hated to admit that she'd do something to spite Tinsley, the idea that she was going to start a club that was more meaningful than Tinsley's shallow, catty, oversexed Café Society gave her an itty-bitty thrill. She felt her green eyes gleaming wickedly as she hit the power button on her laptop. "Agreed. But before we send anything, we need to choose the guest list." And she knew one roommate who wouldn't be on it.

To: Undisclosed recipients

From: BrettMesserschmidt@waverly.edu

Date: Tuesday, October 8, 3:05 P.M.

Subject: Women of Waverly

Greetings, esteemed classmates.

A couple of us have decided to establish a Women of Waverly club (WoW!) to bolster the sense of sorority on campus. Don't want it to be anything too formal or ritualistic or anything like that (no goats, please), but rather a place for Waverly girls to get together and discuss any issues or concerns facing us on campus. Sex, love, drugs, jerks who call themselves men—anything you want to talk about is fair game.

The first official meeting will be tonight at eight o'clock in the Atrium, and it is open to all female members of the Waverly community. Dining services will be providing snacks and beverages.

Estrogen power,


Brett Messerschmidt

Junior Class Prefect

JulianMcCafferty: Dude, where exactly in Hopkins Hall would I find the Cinephiles screening room? Never been there before.

HeathFerro: Curious request. Before I can hand anything over, I'll need to know why.

JulianMcCafferty: Nothing juicy, Ferro. Just wanted to join up.

HeathFerro: It's in the basement, dipshit.

JulianMcCafferty: Thanks. You're a real sweetheart.

HeathFerro: Kisses.



Tinsley Carmichael lingered in the screening room in the basement of Hopkins Hall after Signor Giraldi dismissed his Advanced Italian class. They'd just watched Fellini's La Strada—much preferable to sitting in a boring old classroom and watching the spit bubble at the corners of Signor Giraldi's mouth as he conjugated Italian verbs. Something about watching old movies, especially old foreign movies, in the dark, leaning back in the leather reclining seats of the screening room, made Tinsley's pulse race. Movie theaters were so freaking sexy. She was ready to tear someone apart. A very specific someone, in fact.


On Sale
Aug 1, 2008
Page Count
288 pages

Cecily von Ziegesar

About the Author

Cecily von Ziegesar is the creator of the #1 bestselling Gossip Girl and #1 bestselling It Girl novels. She has always lived in New York City.

Learn more about this author