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Gossip Times Three

Gossip Times Three

3.2 12
by Amy Goldman Koss

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"This is a true story about three best friends who will no doubt become my three sworn enemies when they find out that I'm writing this," says our mystery narrator at the beginning of Amy Koss's latest novel of middle-school fun and torment. Abby has always had a crush on Zack, and her best friends Bess and Cristy have always known it. So how could Bess possibly


"This is a true story about three best friends who will no doubt become my three sworn enemies when they find out that I'm writing this," says our mystery narrator at the beginning of Amy Koss's latest novel of middle-school fun and torment. Abby has always had a crush on Zack, and her best friends Bess and Cristy have always known it. So how could Bess possibly think it's okay to go out with Zack herself?! And whose side is Cristy on anyway?

From the moment Bess utters the traitorous "Zack's cute!" to the day Abby seeks a surprising revenge and beyond, our outspoken narrator (who won't reveal her identity until the final page) is there to share her particular front-row view of the mess. She even throws in some tasty tidbits about the love lives of the girls' divorced moms.

It's laugh-out-loud funny, it's candid, and it's universal-as all of Amy Koss's novels are. That's why they so often appear on best-of-the-year lists, including ALA Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Quick Picks, IRA Young Adult Choices, and IRA Teacher's Choices.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flouting the classic dictum that storytellers should show, not tell, Koss (The Girls) chatters her way through this novel, talking out each angle of the tempest-in-a-teapot that upsets three seventh-grade girls. The narrator, the 16-year-old sister of one of the trio, openly addresses the audience and her teacher, Mr. Wordsmith, for whom she is drafting this opus. In what she concedes is "microscopic detail," the narrator describes how Abby has always been infatuated with her classmate Zack. One day Bess, one of Abby's two best friends, announces that Zack is cute, and 20 pages later, Bess secures Zack's affections by informing him that she likes him. Koss understands the dynamics of junior high friendships, attractions and cliques, and she develops the ramifications of the romantic triangle with easy authenticity. The breathless narrator makes a show of constantly interrupting herself (e.g., "You may feel that this chapter is beside the point, but this entire story is so pointy that just about everything is beside it"). She relays not only what happens, but what might have happened, why she does or does not know what happens, why she does or does not remember to relay what happens, etc. Budding postmodernists may enjoy this; others may find the exhaustive telling... exhausting. Ages 10-14. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
If you have read Koss's book, The Girls, you would be expecting quite a bit from Gossip Time Three. Unfortunately, you would be disappointed. The insight on teen girls' social structure that made The Girls such a great book is entirely absent here. Koss attempts to use original language and narration style in order to make the book read as if it was being spoken by a thirteen-year-old. This does little to enhance the story. The entire story is told directly from the narrator's perspective, whose identity we find out in the epilogue. While the language used is interesting at first it wears on the reader and disrupts the flow of the book. Sentences such as "It took place in the school 'lunchroom,' which is not really a room since it doesn't have walls, and walls are considered by many people to be a fairly essential component of something if its going to be called a room" are frequent and become increasingly pointless and annoying. The entire story could be compacted into 40 pages instead of 164 pages. 2003, Dial Books/Penguin Group,
— Caroline Haugen
This sequel to The Girls (An ALA Best Book for YAs and top ten Quick Pick) will appeal to the same readers with its witty, lighthearted style. The narrator goes on and on about the number three; three friends, three options, three questions and so on. It is true that three friends can find the going rough at times, with two turning against one. When the three 7th graders have crushes on boys, a lot can happen to threaten their friendship. The friends of course have three different family situations; and three mothers, each of whom has her own attitude toward her life and men. So there is a lot to gossip about. The narrator is astute, realistically self-conscious, and not one of the three; so it is fun to have her identity revealed at the end of the book. This will surely be popular with young YAs. KLIATT Codes: J; Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Dial, 170p.,
— Claire Rosser
One long and tedious diary entry, rather than an engaging story, produces a book definitely for young readers. The author attempts to connect with the reader by dumbing-down the plot, the characters, and the narrator. Older readers will quickly be annoyed with the lack of character development and the overabundant use of the number THREE in big capital letters. VOYA Codes: 2Q 4P M (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2003, Dial, 176p, Anna Banana), Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In an authentic voice, an unnamed narrator (whose identity is revealed at the end) tells the story of three seventh-grade girls as they weather the storm created by Bess dating her friend Abby's longtime crush. The narrative is presented as an English assignment and openly addresses questions of theme, plot, and foreshadowing and offers readers alternative scenarios and explanations of the characters' motivations. The most distinctive traits are the light, humorous, conversational style (which reluctant readers should like) and the emphasis on the triangular nature of the friendship. Every occurrence of any word related to three is capitalized (TRIO, TRIATHLON, THIRTEEN, you get the idea). While some youngsters may find this device clever, most will agree with the narrator, who admits near the end of the book, "this whole business with the THREES has really gotten on my nerves." An interesting subplot explores each girl's home life (all live with divorced mothers).-Laurie von Mehren, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A trio of best buddies, all seventh-grade girls, almost dissolves their friendship when one of the girls goes after another's crush. Abby, whose two best friends are Bess and Cristy, has been in love with Zack for years. When Bess suddenly becomes Zack's girlfriend, Abby is too distressed to tell her friend how she feels, but later retaliates, causing a rift between them, and putting Cristy in the uncomfortable middle. It's rare to fault a book for too much verisimilitude, but this first-person story penned by veteran scribe Koss doesn't read like it was written in an adolescent voice. Instead, it sounds like an actual teenager, which is to say that it's jumbled, disjointed, and full of irrelevant digressions and self-conscious asides, penned it. Plusses include a clever punch line and observations about the girls' divorced mothers, whose various attitudes on men round out the story. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

AMY GOLDMAN KOSS is the author of several acclaimed teen novels, including The Girls, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Poison Ivy (available from Square Fish). She lives in Glendale, CA, with her family, and she’s on the web at www.amygoldmankoss.net.

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Gossip Times Three 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It wasnt my favorite book but i enjoyed it. Its an ok book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On the ovrrview it said, Sold By: The Penguin Group? Lol Just wondering.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can agree with both of the reveiwers below me. At times the book got so intresting i could'nt put it down. But others times as well it got off topic and was completly irrelevant to the story. If you have time for a short book only 170 pages - read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great.Yes great wait no it's gossip material.I have 10 of them.But I am not telling you what happens.That's 4 u 2 find out.So what are u waiting 4.Buy 1.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book was really good. It gave alot of information on what typical teenage girls go through in their life. i think it's cool how she writes the book , so that you dont know who the narrator is untill the last final pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book was really annoying...the writing style, everything...especially the whole THREE thing! i could barely finish it...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read
Lucia Paz More than 1 year ago
I wuv it
Guest More than 1 year ago
The WORST book I have EVER read. There is absolutely no plot, and the author just drones on and on about things that are entirely irrelevant to the story. I couldn't even finish the book, it was so boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book 'Gossip Times Three' is a book I recamend to young teens. It is about three girls all whom have divorsed mothers and are going through their teen years when they find out two of them like the same boy. uh oh! This is a witty, comic, dramatic, teen book.