Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell: Review

Synopsis (Taken from Amazon):

The Carrie Diaries is the coming-of-age story of one of the most iconic characters of our generation.
Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more. She's ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend's betrayal makes her question everything.
With an unforgettable cast of characters, The Carrie Diaries is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins.

My Review:

I haven't read the original Sex and the City in over ten years. I haven't watched the series since the last episode aired. (I did see the movies, but it just wasn't the same.) I honestly only picked up The Carrie Diaries audio book because it was the only young adult book available on Play Away from my library. (I mean, CDs? Where on earth can I even buy a CD player these days? I's have just as much luck finding an old Vitrola.) But I'm so glad I did. I realized from page one that I missed Carrie Bradshaw. I miss Candace Bushnell's unique writing style. And if you've never read a Bushnell novel, this is a great place to start.

Carrie finds herself caught up in typical high school drama: cheating boyfriends, bitchy girls, friends who cry all the time, and trying to figure out what she want to do in life. Carrie tires to rise above all the emotional theatrics, but she finds herself doing a fair amount of crying, fighting and screaming, too. (Especially when bad boy and man of mystery, Sebastian Kydd, starts stealing some high school hearts.) All the while, she's trying to learn to be a writer, though many have discouraged her and she doesn't have that much confidence in her abilities.

With Bushnell, it's not the plot that matters. This woman could make taking out the trash a riveting event, a page turner! Her protagonist doesn't utter a word without the reader knowing the motivation behind it. Carrie divulges all her thoughts, even when it makes her look foolish or desperate. Carrie isn't some perfect heroine. She wants to be everything: smart, strong, useful, sexy, classy, and kind, but she stumbles and gets frustrated with herself. Our girl always talks it out and finds her way.

One thing I have always loved about the Carrie character is how much she values her friends. In The Carries Diaries, she bolsters her small, loyal group of friends up, and they do the same for her. With Busnell, it isn't really about the romance, it's about the bromance. So few modern writers show the value of friendship and sisterhood like Candace does. Carrie may get wrapped up in a boy for a time, but she understands that those relationships can be fleeting. She always has her girls. The real joy in The Carrie Diaries is the hijinx Carrie and her friends get into: almost getting busted painting a barn, spying on a friend coming out of a porn shop, singing on stage at concert, and many a party.

This book could not have been more perfect. Carrie's thoughts, philosophies and back stories combined with endless teenage girl drama makes for a delectable and satisfying read. The Carrie Diaries is a steak dinner with with cake for dessert. You'll gobble it down!

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