Thursday, 13 May 2010

Book Review: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell.

Product details:
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books.
Paperback, 400 pages.
Release date:  April 29th 2010.
Rating: 4½ out of 5
Target age group:  Young Adult.

Meet Carrie before Sex and the City.

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. Readers will learn about her family background, how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins.

This is a fantastic coming of age story.  I loved meeting Carrie before she moved to New York and finding out all about her drama filled high school days and the inspiration behind her writing career.  I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one, as I found Bushnell’s writing style and her characters difficult to connect with when I read Sex and the City.  Here though, Bushnell has written a book with a great female protagonist that girls of all ages can relate to, and have a lot of fun with.  

I featured this book on the blog before it‘s release, and, along with a few readers, I questioned whether the book, being set in the eighties would appeal to it’s intended teen audience.  Now, I’m not a teen, but I think the answer is yes. For one, the book does not stand out as being set in the eighties. There are maybe one or two references, but  it’s not a nostalgiafest by any means.  Bushnell has let Carrie’s individuality shine though.  Sure, she has big hair, but she’s not obsessed with the fashion fads of the time, and instead her creativity and love of vintage fashion is incorporated into the story.  I think this book will appeal to both teens and adults, since it has everything a great coming of age story needs - toxic friendships, high school dilemmas, family dramas, lessons learned and bad boys.

Let’s talk about those bad boys for a while.  In her teen years, Carrie definitely has a penchant for the drop dead gorgeous heartbreakers. It’s something I can definitely relate to, and while Sebastian Kydd sure does sound delicious, he’s also trouble with a capital T.  Even so, I totally understand why Carrie goes weak at the knees for this guy and puts him before everything else in her life.  It’s amazing what a girl will do when she’s totally obsessed with a boy, right?  Do you think that maybe Carrie would save herself a lot of drama and heartbreak and fall for nice guy George instead who genuinely likes her and treats her well?  If you know Carrie at all, you’ll know the answer to that one!  There is a lot of relationship drama in this book, and we’re provided with some pretty good explanations as to why Carrie really never quite figures out how to deal with her guy dilemmas even as she grows older.

Overall, I thought this was a great read. I loved finding out about Carrie’s family and her old high school friends.  One of my favourite parts of this book has to be the fantastic ending.  This one ends on a very important phone call, with a very integral person in Carrie’s life, just after she arrives in New York,  and is the perfect opening for the next instalment in The Carrie Diaries, due for release summer 2011, which will document Carrie’s first summer in the city.  I cannot wait to read it!


  1. This book seems so much fun!! I want to read it! :) I love Sex and The City, and I wasn't sure about this one....

    Thanks for the review!

  2. It's definitely a lot of fun, Gaby. I wasn't sure if I'd really like it either, but I loved it!

  3. I still haven't started this yet, but It does sound like it's a good read!

  4. Sounds like I'll have to get a hold of this one!

  5. Ohh! I am so excited for this one. I think I am saving it for definitely seems like a fun beach read. Great review! :)

  6. This sounds like such a cute book - I'm glad you enjoyed it! I've seen many bloggers reviewing it, and so far it's getting positive reviews.

  7. Awesome review!! I've been excited to read this one :)

  8. i'm not a candace bushnell fanatic, but i'm looking forward to reading this one. thank you for the wonderful review!

  9. I love Carrie so I'm sure I'd love this book - thanks for the review!!!

  10. Oh - I have to go buy this! Can't wait to read it!

  11. Sounds interesting. I wonder about that ending...

    Great review Leanna;)

  12. Definitely a must for my summer reading list.

  13. Cute..Carrie as a teen girl.. =)

  14. Thanks for the great review! I've been having the same doubts about this book as you, but it's great to hear you enjoyed it, so that means there's hope for me too! :)

  15. Would love to read this one and my daughter would also since she is a big fan of Sex and The City.

    Great review.

  16. This sounds like a fantastic read! I think it would be wonderful for summer!

  17. What an awesome review! Here's mine if you don't mind: 

    Thanks and have a nice day!


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