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Gossip of the Starlings

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  1,126 ratings  ·  195 reviews
When Catherine Morrow is admitted to the Esther Percy School for Girls, it's on the condition that she reform her ways. But that's before the beautiful and charismatic Skye Butterfield, daughter of the famous Senator Butterfield, chooses Catherine for her best friend. Skye is in love with danger and the thrill of breaking rules, taking risks, and crossing boundaries, no ma ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published May 28th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,543)
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karen
to be fair, this book doesnt specifically claim to be like secret history the way so many others do, but one review i read did compare it. it is in no way like secret history - oh wait - its new england and its a school setting. fair enough. it is more like a separate peace, which i have not read, but know all about thanks to greg stahl, king of all spoilers. the book is good; its not chick lit, its that range of womens fiction that is above chick lit but that doesnt quite reach the stellar rang ...more
Elise
I waffled between 3 & 4 stars on this one, because the book really grew on me. Gossip of the Starlings illuminates the friendship of two wealthy & pampered students at a prep school in the 1980's. I guess since I never went to one, I have always been fascinated with stories about boarding schools - John Knowles' A Separate Peace is one of my all-time favorites. The narrator, Catherine, explains - "In my mind, there were three worlds. The world outside - lofty and compelling, the whisper ...more
Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
This is just another example of how I get sucked in by covers alone, despite the fact that I shouldn't. Just look at that cover though: understated, elegant, stark. It's beautiful. Unfortunately, I should have looked a little more at what the book was about before delving into it--it would have tempered my unrealistically high expectations based on artwork.

The Gossip of the Starlings focuses on a group of coke-snorting, precocious New England prep students. Enter the beautiful daughter of a mave
...more
sarah gilbert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanette
Adolescence is a time of questioning rules, testing rules, breaking rules and creating one s own rules. Catherine, a sixteen-year-old equestrian and prep-school student, has worked all her life toward showing in the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden. In regional summer circuit shows, she places first or second, but each year fails to rank in the fall indoor show, the one that would qualify her for the National show. It s now Catherine s next-to-last year to qualify. [return][return]Af ...more
Sarah
When a book starts out with a couple of boarding school girls cutting lines of coke on their toaster oven, I'm so in. Rebellious teen girls, an R-rated coming of age story, prep school AND self-destructive but kinda glamorous debauchery? That's sort of a "you had me at hello" kind of beginning for me. And the rest more or less lived up to the setup, with some lovely, lyrical writing. If it didn't QUITE live up to some of my favorites in the misbehaving-disallusioned-rich-kids-at-fancy-school gen ...more
Jennifer
At first glance, I figured this book was yet another story about rich kids run wild at their New England boarding schools. Which is not necessarily a bad thing - I do enjoy those types of books.[return][return]But this one was different. Even though the main characters were rich and privileged, it wasn't in an annoying way - more like it was just a fact that was secondary to the story. The main character, Catherine, had many layers that made her more than just a cookie-cutter rich teen. Her rela ...more
Janice
This book has an interesting plot and premise-- rich prep school girls break every rule in an effort to be treated normally--but the writing is uneven and the point of view shifts are distracting and ineffective. Some of the writing is well done, but the point of view problem is serious. de gramont has Catherine, the main character, narrating but writes a number of passages from other characters' POVs, told as Catherine recounting them as memories. Multiple points of view with an omniscient narr ...more
Erica
I purchased this novel based on two separate reviews in People Magaizine. Sadly, I did not love this novel as much as People did.

The only character that I had any feelings for was John Paul. After finishing this novel more than a day ago, I am still unnerved about his "ending". Being that he was the only character with a moral compass, I feel like he deserved more. In John Paul's case, I would have appreciated a triumph over tradgedy.

As far as Skye was concerned, I could not wait for her to die
...more
sir rickman
Everything about this book suggests that I wouldn't like it. It's about a collection of attractive, (mostly) white, rich boarding school students, horse competitions, drugs, affairs, and recklessness. For me, oftentimes it's hard to be sympathetic with characters like this, whose circumstances are so unlike my own, and so unlike anything which I perceive to be realistic. This novel pleasantly surprised me.

I went into it expecting a mindless (or mind-numbing) read following catty girls fighting
...more
Ange
This is the story of privileged New England prep school girls, coming of age in 1984. Not only is this a book about the social lives of teens, it's about the pressures and coping mechanisms they employ: sneaking to the Cape, cutting classes, snorting coke, interactions with other friends, boyfriends and teachers. This is one of those books that seems more like 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 for being a quick read with good writing.
Tammy Dahle
My thoughts:
Nina De Gramont is an amazing writer. Gossip of the Starlings is pure poetry. This story is so beautifully written that I found myself rereading pages so I could take it all in.
Skye and Catherine are two wealthy teens attending a prep school in New England. Catherine longs to walk to straight and narrow but her friendship with Skye keeps pulling her into dangerous situations. Not that Catherine isn't a willing participate of drunken nights and cocaine binges-in fact Catherine is the
...more
Julie Failla Earhart
Draped against the background of the Regan years, first-time novelist, Nina De Gramont, delivers a cautionary tale of teenage rebellion in Gossip of the Starlings.
Catherine Morrow was supposedly expelled from Waverly after she and her boyfriend John Paul were caught in bed. Upon her arrival as the Esther Percy School for Girls, Catherine will try to make her affair with John Paul work via long-distance. Catherine has a few other issues also: she loves her cocaine.
When she arrives, another new st
...more
Madeline Knight-Dixon
This book has the depth and gravity that I wish all books about young adults could hold. Youthful adventures with shocking consequences, love that ends up broken and forgotten, wild night parties that turn terrifying. There’s so much truth in this book it’s almost unbareable. The entire time I found myself cringing because (even though I did not go to a prep school or do an abudnence of cocaine in high school) I feel what they’re feeling so much.

The story centers around Catherine. In a strangely
...more
Iahc
I loved this book for a number of really different reasons. The prose is beautiful and it was a pleasure to read just to read some of the incredible sentences. But the plot was also truly exciting. I knew someone was going to die from the opening but wasn't sure who or why. I won't spoil the plot by divulging too much, but let's just say, a group of high school students get over their heads into trouble--testing the limits of their friendships, their relationships with their parents, drugs, brea ...more
Sarah
This is a good book for someone. It's well written and articulate, and even though the author telecasts from page one what will happen through out the whole book, you still want to read all the way through, maybe just to see if the ending is really telecasted, and maybe you don't actually need to test that theory and are positive it's telecasted, but just to want to see the how and why, if not the what. And I'm ok with that, as a device- I'm basically of the school of thought that there are 6 ba ...more
Alea
The back cover says it all. Prep school, drugs, friendship, tragedy. Already knowing that, there was nothing left for me to be engaged by.

Gossip of the Starlings is the story of two girls (Catherine and Skye) and their friendship while attending an all girls boarding school. Catherine is a new student leaving her old school for her "bad girl" ways and Skye is the daughter of a senator with a constant spotlight on her.

I thought I was in for a shocking tragic read, it was more sad and not totall
...more
Marian
When Catherine Morrow is admitted to the Esther Percy School for Girls, it's on the condition that she reform her ways. But that's before the charismatic and beautiful Skye Butterfield, daughter of the famous Senator Butterfield, chooses Catherine for her best friend. Skye is a young woman hell-bent on a trajectory of self-destruction, and she doesn't care who is taken down with her. No matter the transgression—a stolen credit card, a cocaine binge, an affair with a teacher, an accident that pre ...more
Sarah
This novel reads like 'Gossip Girl' or 'Prep' for grown ups. What makes it beautiful and poignant is Gramont's choice to narrate the first person story as Catherine several years later, looking back on the events of her friendship with Skye. This novel is extremely 'readable', but Gramont lost me in the end -- as she veers from depicting a toxic friendship to describing a predictable tragic outcome. What I did love was that the story was set in the 80s, and how much has changed in terms of 'misb ...more
Jennifer Arnold
Nina de Gramont (a NC writer) has gotten quite a bit of attention for Gossip of the Starlings, a story of the doomed friendship between Catherine Morrow, the kind of rich girl who gets kicked out of boarding school but will still wind up at a good college, and Skye Butterfield, the rebellious daughter of a beloved Senator who will inevitably ruin lives out of her own desperation.

I did like the book (many have noted the similar subject matter with Prep, which I liked better), and thought it was
...more
Jaime
This book was both good, and not good. The good was that de Gramont does a great job of weaving this story of tragic youth. The story moved easily, and was believable for the time frame (today, I’m sure the drug of choice would be something different). The not good part of the story was that I struggled to connect with either Catherine or Skye, a couple of spoiled rich girls who go through their lives without any real serious thought of the people around them. I was able to sympathize a bit with ...more
Sarah
This adult novel is due to be published in June and I can't find any other reviews. This is one case where I feel that I might be way off-base on my review. Oh well.[return][return]Catherine is a rich, snooty girl who is always friends with the other beautiful rich people. At her new boarding school, she is instantly befriended by the famous Senator's daughter, Skye, and is befuddled by the relationship. The two of them are instant friends, yet Skye yearns for her old friendship of Susannah at h ...more
Ranee
I wanted to like this book.

True, the point-of-view changes were strange , but maybe the smug, pretentious style was intentional, to show the insecurity of youth. The arrogant, selfish and self-centered narrator was impossible to like but, as a ‘coming of age’ tale, surely her character should develop.

Throughout the story, the narrator pushes drugs and feels no guilt, only a smug satisfaction at others’ pain. It was sad to finally realize that there would be no growth in this story. The narrato
...more
Liz
Nina de Gramont's novel, Gossip of the Starlings, is reminiscent of Knowles' A Separate Peace. It even contains some heavy allusions to the famous coming of age novel. Other similarities include: a prep school setting, a doppleganger-like relationship between the narrator and her best friend, themes of friendship and betrayal, and intensely vivid descriptive language.

Unlike A Separate Peace, I never felt any sort of kindred connection with any of the characters in Gossip of the Starlings. Though
...more
Meghan
This novel grew on me. It takes place in the 1980s at Esther Percy School, an elite New England prep school, and is narrated by a woman looking back and figuring out her past and her teenage relationship with the wealthy daughter of a prominent politician. There is horseback riding and cocaine; however, it is actually more about character than plot. About halfway through I realized the writing was actually very good:

"I had started prep school at thirteen. Rich, wild girls - the ones who couldn't
...more
Kricket
Sep 17, 2008 Kricket rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older teens-- 16 & up
having been caught in the sack with her boyfriend john paul, catherine is withdrawn from one prep school and enrolled in another. here, she tries to start anew, eschewing drugs to focus on her riding. She is befriended by Skye Butterfield, the daughter of a well-known senator, who seems like the perfect role-model: driven, focused, angelic. It turns out Skye has befriended Catherine hoping to become bad, and Skye's side wins out.

Skye is an intense and somewhat frightening character...sort of ma
...more
Melissa Salce
My favorite type of book - a coming-of-age story that makes you long for youth while reminding you how glad you are to be an adult. Has some slight shades of "Pretty Little Dirty," another favorite of mine. Easy & enjoyable read.
Donna
When I picked this book to read it was mostly because I liked the title and from the cover picture I thought it would have horses in it. It does. It's also a lot better than I was expecting. Seeing reviews comparing it to Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Piece, and The Secret History, I didn't think it could even come close, but in it's own way it does. This is one of those books where you know something bad is going to happen almost from the first page, but have no idea of to whom, what, where, o ...more
Sarah
First of all, I'm unsure why this book is titled "Gossip of the Starlings." Seems to have nothing to do with the content of the book. Neat title for another book, perhaps.

Second, this book came from my library with a "Teen" sticker on it. I would have a lot of trouble recommending that any teenager read this book. The book is about a group of prep-school teenagers who are into risk taking of all kinds, mainly cocaine. There are no consequences of note for any actions these kids take, which is wh
...more
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