From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—In the 1980s, Carrie Bradshaw is the oldest of three girls who live with their widowed father. She is on the swim team, wants to attend a summer writing program in New York, has applied to Brown, and is the last of her girlfriends to still have her virginity. When the rakish Sebastian Kydd returns to town, all the girls in the school become distracted, but he seems to have his eye on Carrie, at least until her best friend begins to take notice of him. The action is lightweight: senior pranks are played, dates are prevalent, friendships are tested, and Carrie keeps letting boys run rampant over her. It takes most of the book for her to stand up for herself. This protagonist is clearly written to resemble her older self as portrayed in the TV series Sex and the City
. She spends the novel questioning relationships; worrying about friendships; developing a funky, independent sense of fashion; flirting with boys while dating two at once; and having a gay male friend. The author is known for writing frivolous, adult chick-lit books and she does not stray from that style here. While toning down the antics that take place in her adult books, she still writes about partying, drinking, smoking (cigarettes and dope), sex, and shoplifting, making this book best suited to older teens looking for a diversion.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
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Before Manhattan and Manolos, who was Carrie Bradshaw? In her first novel for teens, Bushnell fills in her Sex and the City star's growing-up years with this chronicle of Carrie's senior year of high school in a small New England town. Bushnell maintains believable continuity of character in this teen version of her cultural icon, and fans will enjoy watching Carrie develop her familiar adult traits: her love of fashion, her wit, her writing ambitions, and her own brand of feminism. Once again, Carrie has three best friends, the alcohol flows freely, and sex is always on the conversation agenda, but here there's a lot more talk than action (Carrie is a virgin). There are love interests, of course: a gorgeous heartbreaker and a clean-cut college guy who kisses “like a man who thinks in straight lines.” As with the TV show, though, it's the book's friendships that teens may relate to most. Fans will love this (and only insiders will get the ending), but smart, vulnerable, questioning Carrie emerges as a likable, stand-alone character. Expect plenty of adult interest, too. Grades 9-12. --Gillian Engberg