As I mentioned in my “To-Read” pile post, I had recently picked up The Carrie Diaries and was hoping to start reading it soon. I had some downtime this weekend to read the story, and here is my review!
Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?
The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie’s senior year of high school. She and her best friends — Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse — are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend’s betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it’s finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.
Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They’ll learn about her family background — how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We’ll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.
I am very lucky that my experience of reading young adult (YA) books has lead me to some great authors. As a result, I have given high marks to almost all of the YA books I have read. Due to these wonderful writers–and the fabulous books they have published–I have come to expect high quality in my YA reads. High school is a time for young adults to grow and go through many changes. This has never been used as an excuse to develop weak characters; this is part of the reason I seek out great YA books.
Bushnell’s first attempt at YA does not begin to reach the high level of YA I have come to expect. This book is long–400 pages–but says very little. Part of the reason is because this book is full of many contradictions. For example Carrie claims she wants to be a writer, yet for most of the book she does nothing to reach this goal. She goes on and on about how she never wants to get married, yet immediately attaches herself to the first guy who shows interest in her. What is further annoying about this relationship is the fact that he treats her awfully for most of the book, yet she stays with him. The relationship with two of her friends also drove me crazy. She gives a great deal of herself to these relationships, yet receives little in return. To me this all lead to Carrie being an uninteresting and weak character.
There were some redeeming things about this story that did keep me reading. The secondary plot of Carrie’s family situation was enjoyable for me to read. I felt as if the relationship between Carrie and her sisters was very honest. How they related to each other and their father after their mother’s passing kept me interested. A second storyline discussing about Carrie’s relationship with George, a boy she meets at Brown University, really helps move the plot along. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t start progressing until the last third of the book. I wish the author had discussed introduced these bits more throughout the story, as I believe it would of lead to a more interesting book.
Review: The two plot points I enjoyed could not save this book for me. Sadly it is the last line of this book that is the most interesting to me. While this does make me excited for the next “Carrie Diaries” book, it does not say much for this book. Although I usually love YA books, I felt this book was childish.