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The Carrie Diaries TV Tie-in Edition Paperback – December 26, 2012
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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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Carrie, an aspiring writer, is a senior who attends Castlebury High with her best friends: Walt, "The Mouse," Lali, and Maggie. Also in attendance are the two Jens and Donna LaDonna, the popular girls. This year, there's a new guy in town, Sebastian. Everyone who's anyone wants to date Sebastian, but Carrie has a secret, she has met Sebastian before, through her mother. Her mother and his morther went to school together and Carrie met him once at their house. Sebastian recognizes Carrie too, but just can't remember why. It's a race to see who will date Sebastian first, even though everyone thinks Donna LaDonna will win.
Carrie and her friends spend senior year going to parties, crying, laughing, and pretending that college isn't as close as it actually is. The Mouse is the smart one of the bunch who plans on going to Yale, Walt is the guy all girls want to be friends with, Maggie is a drama queen, and Lali is Carrie's oldest and closest friend. Carrie is the oldest of three girls; her mother passed away a few years ago, leaving their father to raise them alone.
Carrie begins to fall for Sebastian shortly after the start of the school year, and he, in return, begins to fall for her. The only problem is, Sebastian is not a one girl kind of guy. Then there's George, Carries new friend from Brown, the college she plans on attending after high school. Perfect George is every father's dream of a boyfriend, except Carrie doesn't like him in that way. Carrie learns that growing up isn't always about getting what you want, but getting what you need. She realizes that all you need during your last year of high school are good friends and a strong drink.
I hated the first chapter of this book. I thought, "Oh great, another YA novel about high school, with bad writing." But once the first chapter ended, I realized it is a YA Sex and the City, except it is more like Sex and the Suburbs. These kids are nuts, but hilarious. I really enjoyed reading about the crazy adventures of Carrie and her friends. Carrie and her friends don't care about if they are popular or if they have the coolest clothes, all they care about is having a good time and making the most out of their senior year.
What shocked me about this novel was how much drinking went on in high school. I thought to myself, "Did kids actually drink that much when I was in high school?" I certainly didn't. I was astounded by how these kids got into bars, ordered drinks, and chain smoked like it was their job. But then again, the Carrie Bradshaw we all know and love from TV drinks like a fish and smokes like a camel. I guess she had to start somewhere, and that somewhere is high school.
The Carrie Diaries touches on a lot of typical high school subjects: sexuality, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and bad drivers. All the stuff you learn about in health class rolled into one page-turning book. Carrie's writing aspirations are inspiring, she knows what she wants and even though she hasn't written anything important until her senior year, she knows she wants to be a writer. Reminds me of my senior year, and my dreams of becoming a writer; the dream is still out there, waiting for me to make it happen.
The last line of the book is what makes it an awesome read. I wish I could say more, but I don't want to spoil it. For a big Sex and the City fan, the ending is spectacular.
Carrie hasn't had things easy, but she still has dreams of becoming a writer. She applied to a summer writing program in NYC, but she was rejected. Now she must resign herself to going to Brown and studying science like her father wants. She wishes desperately her mom were still alive to give her advice about what to do. So she keeps going through the motions, hanging out with her friends, chain smoking cigarettes (it was the 1980's after all), and listening to all her friends tell her about their boyfriends, guy friends, and crushes... until Sebastian Kydd arrives.
Carrie's first run-in with Sebastian when they were young was not terribly promising, but he is still as hot as she remembers. At first she thinks he is dating the head cheerleader (and Queen Bee) Donna LaDonna (feel free to gag a little at that name... I did). But soon it becomes clear Sebastian Kydd wants her more. Carrie is thrilled, until Donna LaDonna wages war on her. Carrie keeps trying ot get to the bottom of the LaDonna/Kydd thing, but Sebastian keeps dodging her questions.
Carrie's dad introduces her to a Brown student he knows and encourages her to spend time with him (in a not-so-subtle way of getting her to go to Brown). She likes George, but he just isn't boyfriend material. Still she continues hanging out with him until George finds out about Sebastian. Then she is left with Sebastian and a group of friends that has slowly fallen apart while Carrie was wrapped up in her own world.
When Carrie's sister gets put in jail for shoplifting and her father makes all three daughters go on lock down, she doesn't get to see anyone (including Sebastian) for 2 weeks. Upon her first jailbreak, there is clearly something up with Sebastian and Carrie's friend Lali. When Carrie runs back into the bar, she gets an eyeful of the two of them making out. Now, boyfriend-less, friendless, motherless, and without the summer writing class, Carrie has no idea what to do. Luckily, George forgives her and along with a few other good friends, and they help Carrie realize she has to go with what she believes in. She starts writing articles for the school newspaper under a pseudonym and exposes high school life for what it really is. When she submits those articles to the NY writer's program, she is accepted and her father agrees to let her go. Thus begins the story of Carrie Bradshaw, columnist...
If this story sounds a little thin, its because it kind of is. If it weren't for the ties I already had to the main character, Carrie, I may not have really gotten in to this story. The beginning was kind of slow and it took some real willpower to spend some time getting into it. When I finally did, though, it picked up a bit. The story was interesting, but I think there were a number of flaws. First, the marketing of this book as YA shoots past the mark. In order to really like the story, you should know of the TV show or original novels by Candace Bushnell, but those are certainly not child-friendly. Otherwise, this is only a mediocre story at best.
The other serious flaw was the time period it is set in- she is a senior in high school in the early 80's when kids and teachers alike openly smoked in and around school, the drinking age was 18, so they could easily sneak into bars and get alcohol. This might not seem too much of a stretch for teenagers, but it really seemed like a different world. In fact, I think younger readers would have a hard time relating to the time period- it is that weird limbo where it is close enough to seem familiar but long enough ago to be so wildly different. If it was earlier or later, it might have been easier to relate to.
The writing is fairly simplistic, but some of the circumstances might be better for an older crowd. There is a fair amount of talk about sex, alcohol, and cigarettes, but I wouldn't say it is in excess. I just think this might be a better book for older young adults or adults who are more familiar with the television show. I know they would certainly appreciate the last paragraph where a certain someone comes to Carrie's rescue!
Most recent customer reviews
I really got into this story and devoured this book in 2 days. I did find it a little fishy though that these 17/18 years olds could just waltz into...Read more
3/ 8 /17
To be honest the “Carrie Diaries” was pretty good.Read more