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Reading a novel aimed at the young adult market from the perspective of being a thirty-something woman is an interesting one. For me, I found myself comparing my teen years with those of the young Carrie Bradshaw and her friends - the crushes, the petty cruelty of the schoolgirl hierarchy, the ongoing conflict between being afraid of what your peers think of you versus your own desire to do well at what is importnant to you.
If you haven't read The Carrie Diaries, it is Carrie's account of her teenage years in a small American town before she went to New York City. Carrie and her sisters lost their mother in the years prior to where the novel begins and they are raised by their well intentioned father. He means well but is a bit lost at times as to how to deal with his daughters' adolescence.
The 'young' Carrie has a strong sense of who she is and what she stands for. In life, in personal goals, in friendships and in fashion. What she struggles with is boys (who didn't and doesn't?). Some of the most powerful areas of the book are the times when Carrie struggles with the boy who is 'good and good for her' and the boy who is 'good but bad for her'.
I have always admired the way Candace Bushnell writes. Though it is easy to passy off the themes of her adult novels as superficial, she is an astute observer of personality and character. At times I thought Carrie sounded too mature in her outlook and character assessments. However, it is easy for me to forget that even as teenagers, my friends and I were capable of quite profound observations of life. It was just the experience of the greys of an issue that we often lacked.
I've been on the Kindle site and have noticed that there is to be a sequel published in April. If the final paragraph of The Carrie Diaries is anything to go by, it's going to be an interesting journey for Carrie in The City.