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