Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?
The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.
Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They'll learn about her family background -- how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.
Having watched just half an episode of the TV progamme and the first five minutes of the movie, I started the Carrie Diaries not knowing at all what to expect, and not expecting to like it as much as I did. A fun, quick, easy read, the Carrie Diaries spans Carrie's entire final year of school and introduces us to her high-school friends, her family, and of course, her love interests. It's absorbing and entertaining, maybe a little cliched, but that can be ignored when the protagonist is so likeable and most characters are realistic.
The difficulties her group of friends were experiencing- the betrayal of her best friend, the secret one friend was hiding, how they were slowly drifting part- were all realistic. Favourite characters of mine were Mouse and Walt, infinitely more likeable than the backstabbing best friend, Lali. If we were supposed to feel sympathetic towards her at the end, then Bushnell failed because I sure as hell didn't.
The romantic interests were less interesting to read about. Sebastian, the rebellious rich boy, was cliched and slightly two-dimensional, although there were some rare moments where he seemed to have a real, fleshed out personality. George, the kind, sensible Brown student, was the love interest I ended up rooting for (of course, I doubt Bushnell would have wanted it any other way) although initially, I did think him a little bland and like Sebastian, he was not as well drawn out as he should have been.
Family dynamics were believable and intriguing. Carrie's runaway younger sister was particularly well-developed. The other sister did not appear enough for a full portrait to be formed. Carrie's father was another realistic character and easy to feel sympathetic towards as he was a single father raising three teenage daughters. Contrary to several other YA novels (cough, Twilight, cough), he was very much present in the novel but not to the extent that the father-daughter interaction became boring to read.
The protagonist herself was a likeable, easy to relate to character. I especially loved her quirky and romantic side which made me more interested in the story. I think Bushnell did a fine job in making her personality shine through the narrative. Her (nearly) ceaseless passion will encourage all readers of the Carrie Diaries to follow her example, and although the 'never give up' moral is worn out, Carrie's immense likeability makes it inspiring.
Overall, the Carrie Diaries is a fun, absorbing, coming of age tale which anyone is sure to enjoy reading.