Friday, April 6, 2012

17. The Carrie Diaries

Book #17: The Carrie Diaries
Author: Candace Bushnell
Published: April 27, 2010
389 pages
4 gold stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation? 

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted. 

I love Carrie. I love her quirky style, her smoking while writing her article and the fact that she owns more shoes than books. I avidly watched Sex and the City over the years just for Carrie. She was me, I was her, we were soulmates. So when I found The Carrie Diaries, I knew I had to read it. It took me quite awhile to finally pick it up, since I've always been sort of disappointed with Bushnell's writing, but once I did, I had to read it right away. The first time I picked it up, I only got through two chapters. It hadn't captured me yet. I couldn't see the Carrie that I knew and loved, but once I picked it up again, I found her.

Carrie's your average small town girl. She has big dreams of getting out of there and moving to the big city to follow them. Her dream is to write a novel. Her dream is to get into a summer writing program in New York and become a successful author. Carrie and I have a lot in common. After getting a rejection letter, she's not so sure she'll be able to keep chasing this dream. But as she paves her way through her senior year of high school, falls in love for the first time, gets betrayed for the first time, and really discovers who she is, she knows she still has to follow this dream.

Carrie's teenage years are real, heartbreaking, and shape who she will become in Sex and the City. She is the same Carrie we know and love today with her crazy fashion sense and her recklessness love for her friends and those she loves. She is stubborn and fierce and she makes mistakes and I love her for all of it. Bushnell did a wonderful job creating young Carrie and preparing her for her life in New York. There are a few details that don't quite match the show, but it works well with the story line. I tried not to think too much about comparing the two, since to me they are both completely differnt. Carrie is a different girl growing up, we all are, so you can't expect her to be the same woman she is now. 

Bushnell's adult novels haven't quite reached me. I read Sex and the City after watching the show, but it disappointed me. I tried again with a few of her other ones, but I just couldn't relate to them. She's redeemed herself in my eyes with her new young adult series, creating a new Carrie for me to root for. And I will always root for Carrie. 

“Whoever we are here, we might be princesses somewhere else. Or writers. Or scientists. Or presidents. Or whatever the hell we want to be that everyone else says we can't.” 

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