"The Carrie Diaries"

So, is The Carrie Diaries all it's cracked up to be? I set out to answer this question.

I call myself a massive fan of Sex and the City and its writer, Candace Bushnell. I've won myself two box sets of the TV series, own the deluxe wedding collection edition of the first movie, soundtrack of the second movie and several of Candace Bushnell's other novels. I've even themed my blog and hens' weekend around the show. Why then, when the author released a book about main character Carrie Bradshaw's high school years did I wait so long to read it?

I was scared.

Well, scared and lazy, but mostly scared. After the epic crapness of certain moments in the Sex and the City 2 film (formerly mortal gay enemies, Stanford and Anthony, getting married, Charlotte and Miranda's terribly patronising confessional about how privileged mums have it so tough, etc), I was afraid this book might suck hard as well, especially as a prequel. How can you ever create suspense in a book where the audience knows the ending? Deeply suspicious.

I've now read it and can tell you, it being a prequel isn't a problem, as the only character you'll recognise from the TV show is Carrie, so Bushnell was free to take the other characters where she liked -- swapping partners, killing them off, whatever. Actually, I lie. Without being a spoiler, one of Carrie's three New York City besties makes a cameo appearance in the novel and it's a doozy. One of the best parts of the book, in fact.

The downside, I've gotta say, is that young Carrie sometimes feels like an imposter. In several scenes, she's dishing out cookies to her boyfriend, whipping up coq au vin for her family and generally making like a regular Martha Stewart. Remember her neglected kitchen in the series, using her oven as storage, telling Big that fondue was the only recipe she'd ever mastered? Hmm. It feels like her voice is right, but certain character traits are inconsistent with the TV series. Young Carrie on the swim team? Really?

If you ignore these nit-picky details though, it really is an enjoyable story. It accurately captures in-depth aspects of female friendships, manages to tie up all lose threads of the storyline without being too predictable and keeps delivering action at a steady pace.

Rating: 7/10.

What did you think of The Carrie Diaries? Rate it or hate it?

16 comments:

  1. I have it but haven't read it yet for the same reasons as you. Lol. I will give it a try eventually.

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  2. Definitely give it a go, Ashley. I raced through it in only a couple of days, so it's a really fun, quick read. : )

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  3. I didn't like it at all. Like you, I'm a massive Sex and the City fan and this book just didn't feel like Carrie at all, but more like some random girl. Like you said, swim team? Really? I found it disappointing but then again, I'm not a huge fan of Bushnell's writing. Nonetheless, I'm going to read the second book on the beach this summer!

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  4. Hi from Australia,

    I haven't read it and probably wouldn't!!

    I am following you from the Monday hop.
    Hope you had a good weekend!

    http://beourbest.blogspot.com/

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  5. New follower from the I Love My Online Friends Hop! Hope you can stop by and return the follow :)

    Cristi
    http://thekingscourt4.blogspot.com/

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  6. Visiting from Makobi Scribe's Blog Hop of the day! Now following you! Great blog! Visit justthedetailsofjenn.blogspot.com

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  7. I love your page.. Found it on a blog hop.. too cute. http://www.courtnesopinion.blogspot.com

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  8. Connie from Girl Tech Divas is your newest fan from the Monday Blog Hop. Would love it if you can hop by www.girltechdivas.com and follow back!

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  9. Hi, just hopping by from I Love my Online Friends Blog Hop Monday.

    New follower!

    http://carabossesbedchamber.blogspot.com/

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  10. It's interesting she decided to write a prequel. Good review. Thanks for stopping by from the Sweeping Me Hop. I'm following back.

    http://confessionsofafrugalmind.blogspot.com/

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  11. Hello, I am a new follower. I would love it if you would visit my blog and follow me back at Valerie @ My-2-Cents

    Thank you
    Have a blessed week!

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  12. Hi, I'm on the same quest. Good luck. I’m following you from “I love my online friends blog hop”. I look forward to your follow back.

    Cheers,
    Shanae
    My Blog

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  13. I'm ashamed to say I haven't still gotten round to watching the Sex and the City two movies!!

    I am following you from the Monday hop. The GUILTY HYENA xx

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  14. Hi everyone!

    Firstly, thanks for dropping by. I'm now following back all you newcomers. You guys have some truly fresh, original blogs. It's great to see!

    Sascha, I'm hoping to read and review the next book, "Summer and the City," in the next couple of weeks. Gonna borrow it from the library, since I'm in cheapskate mode lately. : )

    Haha, Guilty Hyena, I don't feel so guilty myself since you're still catching up on "Sex and the City" too.

    Have a great week, all!

    xx
    Becks

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  15. Hmm I think it was alright.. there were moments that really struck a chord with me. I AM 16 though, so this may be why. There was something in there about how highlighting only gives you the illusion of learning something, and about nerd princes. I loved those parts!

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  16. Hi Emma,

    I'm still 16 in my mind, but now double that in reality. D'oh, that sounds so old, now I've done the maths.

    I liked the highlighting comment too -- reminded me that my uni friends used to tease me about highlighting almost every word. The once highlighted everything on my lecture notes, and I didn't even notice the difference!

    So yeah, that's why I gave "The Carrie Diaries" an 8 out of 10 even though Carrie's not quite the same as TV Carrie. It's still a good book in its own right.

    xx
    Becks

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