THE CARRIE DIARIES BY CANDACE BUSHNELL : BOOK REVIEW

June 17, 2013

“What if I'm a princess on another planet? And no one on this planet knows it?”
An adolescent Carrie Bradshaw; who doesn't want to get in her Manolo??! Carrie Bradshaw is indeed an iconic character who once sworn on Chanel and said that she rather used her microwave as a shoes' storage. I love watching HBO's Sex and The City series (but I haven't read the book it based on) and I was thrilled to know that CW would release a prequel of SATC starring the adorable AnnaSophia Robb. CW's Carrie Diaries is already passed season one and I'm currently waiting for the next season. On that period time, I decided to buy this book : The Carrie Diaries, before moving on to the next series, Summer and The City written by the one and only Candace Bushnell, who has successfully brought us the iconic Bradshaw and somehow made New York City as the most desirable city on the planet. Now, let's get to the book, shall we?

Set in the 80s in a small town named Castleburry where hamburgers topped with grilled onions and peppers are considered fine dining, The Carrie Diaries follows the 17-year-old virgin Carrie Bradshaw's life after she lost her benevolent mother and recently being a senior in her school. Carrie is living her highschool life; hanging out with the pack, standing up for herself against the school's queen bitch, learning that calculus is easy and of course, the new kid, Sebastian Kydd. While she discovers her love life and virginity, fighting with her dad and her 2 litle sisters and dealing with feminism, she also struggles with her own passion : writing, which happens to be against her father's wish for her to get in to Brown university and learn something scientific. She also has to face a betrayal and lies, things that are inevitable in life. So, WWCBD? *whatwouldcarriebradshawdo

Yep, it's utterly different than the TV series. There're so many aspects that are completely dissolved in the TV series, ie : Lali, Peter, Missy, the internship at some law office and Interview magazine, so on so on. I honestly think that the TV series' story is far better than the book. Carrie in this book doesn't impose scream Carrie Bradshaw; she only possess few of SATC/CD's Carrie Bradshaw inevitable characters. It's just, where's the Carrie Bradshaw I know? Though she is supposed to be a teenager, but still, Carrie is Carrie, no matter how old she is, right?!

I'm not a big fan of Candace's writing; there I say it. She fails to embody the 80s aspect in this book. I know it's hard to describe the set through some writings, but vivid descriptions won't hurt. She also fails to present us an engaging and page-turner plot; in fact, it's rather shallow, slow and flat, too much meaningless and spoiled conversations. I was also quite disturbed by the fact that bunch of 18-year-old getting comfortable talking about sex, drinking booze as it serves as a mind eraser or something, and smoking pot & cigarettes to calm their nerves. It's the truth, I know, but if only Candace didn't spoil it that often, it would serve me right. Also, I'm missing one very important (the most important in fact) aspect in this book : FASHION. There're only brief descriptions in few particular events about how Carrie dressed. Even I couldn't recall Carrie's obsession towards fashion, more to her writing I suppose. I told you before, I'm missing Carrie Bradshaw here.

The very clear aspect I first noticed when I read this book was the characters. Some intrigued, some annoyed me like hell. First up is Carrie herself. I honestly feel like I could strangle her; she's a baby, too drifted, snobbish and fake. I hate Carrie here, really. The real Carrie Bradshaw supposed to be witty, smart and full of challenge. The Carrie Bradshaw here is more like a go-with-the-flow kind of girl and she doesn't seem to stand out in her own way. Then there's Sebastian; god what a jerk he is! I hate Sebastian here, which is strange, because I love Sebastian in the show. Sebastian is (yes) hot, the kind of guy who gets everybody's attention whenever a wind hushing, but he's so self-centered I couldn't take it. Lali is, well, the definition of backstabber and a bitch. Maggie is waaayy too emotional I could've slapped her in the face. Walt is OK, in fact I adore him for being so open and brave about his sexuality. The Mouse here I like because she's far more adventurous and brave than The Mouse in the show, and the smartypants still there. Peter is just an addition into the gang. Dorrit here doesn't rebel much, though she still steals the show among the Bradshaws. Then, Missy. I would like to know more about her because Candace writes so little about her and I think she's an interesting character. My favorite character in this book would be Donna LaDonna; she's a queen bitch alright, but I adore her for being so positive when everybody around her hates her. She's so confident and sometimes her bitchiness speaks the truth.

Bottom line, I hate this book. One thing that saves it is the ending and also the one thing that forces me to read the next book. If you're not a fan of SATC, skip this book.
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