The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Warning: Sex and The City is one of my favorite shows. I really wanted to like this book. However, I did NOT. I give it ONE star. It might be a harsh review, but this is just me being completely honest.

Young Adult
Synopsis: This YA novel is a prequel, featuring Carrie Bradshaw, before Sex and The City.

Who wouldn't want to find out more about who Carrie Bradshaw was as a teenager? I for one, was excited to meet her even before she became a fashionable, sophisticated, and successful writer in the city of New York. While the idea of the book is promising, unfortunately, it simply fell flat for me. I was left disappointed.
First off, I do not see any Carrie Bradshaw here. Carrie, at least according to SATC series, is a strong woman. She is independent and is confident. She believes in herself. She is an empathetic character, who has compassion for people and her friends. The teenager Carrie was the complete opposite. Now I would get it if maybe the author was trying to show how she's going to grow as a person.. but that is actually where the second negative aspect comes in. There was no character development whatsoever. Like I mentioned, she just didn't grow up. She didn't "evolve." The main premise of the novel was to show Carrie's growth as a person and as a writer. There was none of that! Instead, the story was mainly filled with her rants about the drama and her obsession -- and I'm so sorry for using that word -- with her boyfriend. I never knew Carrie was such a needy girl who would do and give up everything just to get a cute boy's attention. And if she doesn't succeed, she's going to hate on everyone because she didn't get what she wanted. Apparently also, Carrie uses her writing for revenge. Uh.. what?

I HATE to say it and admit it, but I am just not a fan of this book AT ALL. Now this is just my honest opinion and a frank suggestion, skip this. Aside from the pretty cover, I just can't say anything nice about the story, unfortunately. The book, to me, is full of unlikable characters and poor character and plot development. The worst thing is that I do not at all find it very believable that this is even about the Carrie Bradshaw that SATC fans know and love.


  1. What a disappointment. I really thought I would love this book too since I am such a fan of Sex in The City too, but all the negative aspects you mentioned would have ticked me off too. Thanks for saving me from buying this.

  2. I have to agree I didn't like it either. Teenage Carrie was annoying

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  4. I have to agree i read this and wasnt to impressed with it either

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  5. I have no desire to read this book. I might have had at one time until I saw it at the book store on a "teen" table and I thought "Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw? Teen? SEX AND THE CITY!?" These women were in their 30-40's is it really necessary to revisit Carrie's youth just to draw in a different age group of readers? Sell out.

  6. I am a SATC show/movie fan, but I haven't liked any of Bushnell's books that I"ve tried.

  7. I really need to read this one too.But I like the other version of book cover ;p

  8. I am definitely skipping this book! I can't stand SATC.....

  9. I'm also a huge fan of SATC, but I read an excerpt of this book and One Fifth Avenue and I thought they were both pretty bad.I was thinking of maybe buying it after reading some positive reviews, but I'm not now. Thanks for your honesty! :D

  10. +JMJ+

    Jillian, don't kill me now, but when you wrote, "I never knew Carrie was such a needy girl who would do and give up everything just to get a cute boy's attention. And if she doesn't succeed, she's going to hate on everyone because she didn't get what she wanted," I raised my eyebrows a little because I can totally see Carrie there! I think that the grown-up Carrie is still very needy, but at least less undignified about it.

    I'm also wondering if you've read the book that inspired the series. I tried reading it a few years ago and found it unpalatable, even though I do enjoy the show when I can catch it. I think that the actresses give the characters that extra bit of charm--particularly Sarah Jessica Parker with Carrie, whom any other actress might have made unlikable.

    Anyway, I have no plans to read this book, but I must say that I'm not too surprised that the teenage Carrie comes off that way. =P

  11. @E: In a lot of ways, you're definitely right that Carrie is a needy person. However, teenage Carrie in this book is more of an "obsessed needy" girlfriend. I guess I should have cleared that one up. Since you're not going to read the book.. I'm going to go ahead and spoil it for you ;)

    So Teenage Carrie's boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend. She then spends about 50 pages + trying to convince herself that she'll get over him, she doesn't need him, and she will never need him again. She starts talking about how she is suddenly a feminist. All the while, she is using writing as revenge on her best friend, ex boyfriend, and other enemies. Not very classy. Then, 3 pages before the book ends -- before moving to NYC -- her best friend tells her the guy cheated on her too. Carrie spends the day LAUGHING, and pays a visit to her ex. She is, after all this time, still hoping he'd get back with her.

    I don't know.. I just didn't get it. LOL. Anyway, yes, I have read the books that inspired the series, and it wasn't really all that great. Like you said, it's definitely the actresses that give that extra touch. Also, I feel as if the writers of the show were a lot better than Candace Bushnell herself.

  12. +JMJ+

    Thanks for the spoilers, Jillian! ;-)

    (Well, that's something I thought I'd never sincerely say!)

    You know, I think I would have been able to stand the book right up to the very last part, in which she goes back to the guy to see if he wants to get back together!!! On a Romance message board I used to post on, such twists were called "wallbangers" because they make a reader so frustrated with the book that she bangs it against the wall. LOL! The Carrie Diaries sounds like a wallbanger indeed--and the sad part is that it is the ending the makes it so.

    PS--I think the show's writers leave Bushnell in the dust as well!

  13. I loved the show and I have hated everything I've read by Bushnell. I was tempted to read this one in the hopes that it was better, but now I'll definitely skip it. It sounds like more of the same from her. Thanks for saving me the trouble.