Book Review: Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

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PLEASE NOTE: This is a review for a sequel in a series. I try avoiding spoilers as much as I could, but I cannot guarantee that I could avoid giving out too much. You may jump to the end of the review to see my summary and rating. You can also check out my review on the first book, The Carrie Diaries.

One more note: I did not like this book very much so the review’s not going to be pretty. I don’t write a lot of negative reviews, but there are just some books that make me do so.

summer and the city

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Title: Summer and the City
Author: Candace Bushnell
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: The Carrie Diaries #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

Summer and the City brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country “sparrow”—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.
With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City’s most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

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My first thought after reading this book: “What the flying f*ck did I just read?”

I think, but I may be wrong, that the main point of this book was to show how Carrie started out her writing career, and that point sometimes gets lost in all the mess of Carrie’s life. She enrolled in a special writing program in New York, but what really jump-started her career were the connections she made through Samantha Jones. This book is full of her failures, and I’m not sure there is much to admire about her. Failure is normal, but the attitude a person has about it tells a lot about that person.

Carrie Bradshaw is full of herself. Actually, a lot of characters in this book are just plain selfish and even shallow people who only care about themselves. And they react badly when others aren’t caring for them. There’s a difference between seeking for recognition and demanding it, and boy do these people like demanding it. Carrie hasn’t even succeeded yet and she wants all these people to pay attention to her, which is a quality I did not appreciate. Of course her friends and loved ones could have done a better job in being supportive, but they won’t because they have their own little worlds that they’re trapped in. The characters who didn’t have much of a good standing in the previous book had gotten a lot more terrible in this one.

The romance aspect of the book was not for me. Why would anyone want a boyfriend who isn’t just way older than you, but also calls you “kid.” I guess it would have been okay if Carrie and Bernard saw each other as equals, but Bernard is obviously aware that she’s very young. And of course Carrie also kept it a secret that she isn’t even of legal age yet. I think they just used each other in this relationship – Bernard to get over his divorce and Carrie to have the support of a renown playwright. Not once was it romantic at all.

There was a lot going on in this book that I couldn’t really care much for. It featured the glitz and glam of New York social events, but it’s either the writing wasn’t that great or there isn’t much to like about these events at all. Or maybe I was just so out of this book that I couldn’t really bother with it. There were also other parties or activities that weren’t as glamorous and a little pointless to the story. Honestly, I just couldn’t make sense of everything I read in this book.

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OVERALL, Summer and the City was a huge disappointment and a horrible follow up to an already mediocre first book. There was an awful set of characters, each I easily hated. It’s like everyone suddenly just decided to be jerks, and Carrie was one of the worse ones. I think the only part I liked about this book was the magic of New York and the idea of pursuing ambitions despite failures. Oh, and the humor can be quite amusing. However, all things considered, the book doesn’t really make much sense to me.

RATING:

1.5-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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