Book Review: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

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Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: The Carrie Diaries
Author: Candace Bushnell
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: The Carrie Diaries #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

Meet Carrie Bradshaw 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.

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The Carrie Diaries series first drew me in by their covers. I like how they looked like fashionable purses or whatnot. I have never really seen or read Sex and the City. I just knew about it because my parents used to watch it a long time ago, and we were forbidden to watch it at that time. And I honestly don’t really care much to find out. I did get curious about the YA novels though so I picked them up.

I watched the first season of the TV series before I started reading the book so I had a vague idea about it. I was surprised to see how much had changed, and I think this is one of the few times I would say I like the adaptation better than the original book. The TV series still had its faults, but the book was just, to put it nicely, not to my liking. It wasn’t all bad. I’m just not sure if it was any good. I think that there were some profound words and quotes, but most of the characters weren’t that great and the story wasn’t really exciting.

In a sense, it does feel a little like reading someone’s diary as Carrie tells her tale. She narrates about her family, friends, and school. I will admit that this was a book I didn’t put down until I finished it. And I’m not really sure what pushed me to keep on going. I think the only redeeming factor of this book was how Carrie chased her dreams of becoming a writer. I usually like seeing how different characters are able to be passionate enough to follow through on what they want despite what it may cost them. There has been a lot of thought put into a lot of thoughts, opinions, ideas, etc. that I liked too.

The setting is your typical high school with all kinds of stereotypes. I guess some break the norms, but the cliques are still present, as well as the “elite” crowd. There’s also the good-looking bastard that girls fight over. There are those in the bottom of the food chain that the “elites” bully.

I think the only decent character in this book is Mouse, Carrie’s really smart best friend. She’s really nice and caring and she understands things. I guess George was a pretty decent guy too, even though Carrie didn’t treat him nicely. Her other best friends were just not that great – Maggie’s overly emotional, Walt’s overly snarky, Lali’s probably the worst of them all but I can’t really say more than that.

This book also has feminist themes, and I will admit that there were some good points. I just question how all guys are portrayed as jerks in this series. Was that really necessary to get all the points across? Honestly, I don’t get how they acted all throughout. It just didn’t make any sense to me how they felt detached from anything and simply did whatever they please. Maybe it wasn’t told well because of the limited point of view. I’m not really sure, but I definitely didn’t like the characters.

P.S. Does anyone know why some people call Carrie, Bradley? I’m not really sure I get it.

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OVERALL, The Carrie Diaries is definitely not one of my favorite reads. I breezed right through it, but I’m not very fond of the story and the characters and I couldn’t really care much about them. I do like some thoughts and inspirational ideas written in it though. I’m a little disappointed by this book, but I’m still pretty neutral about liking and disliking it. It’s a mixture of all kinds of good and bad.

RATING:

3-star

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Disclaimer:

  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.
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7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

    • I enjoy watching the TV Show too. The story and the characters make much more sense in the show. They’re all imperfect, but you could see where they were coming from. The ideas and flow in the books are just all over the place and it was quite unpleasant.

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