Candace Bushnell: The Carrie Diaries
Chick lit novels have so much in common
that the characters of different storylines might easily pass off as one and
the same. Nevertheless, The Carrie Diaries is different; not because it
has an original plot, but because it is a prequel to the bestselling series Sex
and the City.
The Carrie Diaries is told from the perspective of a
younger Carrie Bradshaw, the lead character in Sex and the City,
offering readers the chance to meet Carrie’s teenage self long before she becomes
a hotshot writer in New York City.
Set in the early 1980s, the novel
focuses on Carrie’s life as a small-town girl who has big dreams. Since a high school plot is never really
complete without a boy dilemma, Carrie finds herself smitten with attractive
bad boy Sebastian Kydd, who dumps Donna LaDonna – the school’s most popular
girl – for Carrie. This serves as a major ego boost for her but also means that
Donna’s clique isn’t going to let Carrie off the hook so easily.
However, Carrie doesn’t expect karma
to strike back so quickly, and she comes crashing back to earth when she
catches her best friend Lali making out with Sebastian.
cheating boyfriends and backstabbing best friends, Carrie navigates through her
senior year in high school and restores her belief in herself and her
abilities. She learns about survival, moving on and friendship.
The novel comes to an end as Carrie
graduates from high school and is set to spend the summer in New York City.
Readers also sense the development in her personality as she grows from an
insecure teenage girl to a strong, confident young woman.
characters from Sex and the City don’t make an appearance in this
prequel; however, the resemblance between Carrie’s high school best friends and
her New York clique is clear.
The novel’s plot is very predictable,
as is often the case with high school-based stories. Bushnell tries to surprise
her readers with every twist and turn, but her attempts don’t always succeed. Readers
familiar with this genre might easily anticipate where Bushnell is heading
with the plot.
Whether or not you are a devotee of Sex and
City, The Carrie Diaries is a fun and light read,
offering readers escapism from the troubles and responsibilities of adulthood to
the nostalgic days of high school.