Jan 24, 2011

The Weeknight Book Club: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Image courtesy of www.hotbeautyhealth.com

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.


  1. Let me make a confession - I've never actually read a Candice Bushnell novel! My 'chick lit' comprises of Plum Sykes and Gossip Girl. Perhaps I should give CB a go though :)

  2. Hi girl...
    Hope your weekend was good, and that you are staying safe:)
    I am always looking for new reading tips..so thanks for this:)

    Have a great day girly!
    Greetings from Oslo

  3. I have to admit to struggling with Candace Bushnell. I have read quite a few novels now and have struggled through all of them in the way I haven't with so many other writers. I know I am supposed to heart her but I just can't... Maybe I should give it another go?

  4. I must admit that most of her novels seem the same to me, with only slight deviances from the same similar plots. And only slight differences in characters too. That said, I love SATC so I may have to check it out. Wish there could've been more of Carrie's back story in SATC though xx

  5. I recently read this book and enjoyed it but thought her book One Fifth Avenue was much better.

  6. I've actually never read a Candace Bushnell novel either, but I might give them a go. Also, just letting you know that I've nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award!

  7. Hi Sydney Shop Girl
    Just popping over, found you on Hummingbirds Stylish blog awards...
    I actually picked up this book at christmas time and hinted to the partner that it would be a good stocking present... hint hint, nudge nudge... But in true male style, he doesn't get a hint... I must go buy it myself now...
    Look forward to following your blog... Check out mine if you get a chance... www.rhidiscover.blogspot.com

  8. I'm a big fan of Candace Bushnell's book too although the only one that I didn't really like was Sex And the City! :P

  9. Merowyn: Plum Sykes! i forgot about here. I have read one or two magazine articles by her but I'll have to find some of her novels.

    SP: I'm trying to stay out of trouble:-P

    Kitty: chick lit is like that. Some authors are hard work for some and not others.

    (Canberra)/(Sydney) City Girl: if you're looking for back story, there's a series of Carrie Diary type novels planned, apparently.

    Hostess: I did like 1 Fifth Ave.

    Rhi: thank you! I am working up a list of things to write about. I haven't forgotten.

    RhiDiscover: thank you! I'll be off to your blog soon.

    Lorraine: I tend to agree. I don't think any one novel could measure up to the entire back catalogue of SATC episodes.

    SSG xxx

  10. Great review! i'll be adding this to my list of books to read in 2011! xx

  11. got it but haven't read yet.

    Met Candace twice, she is uber skinny and chic x

  12. I have always wanted to read this book, but for some reason I haven't yet. Your review made me more interested in reading it and it is now on my readinglist =)



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