Book Club: The Carrie Diaries

Happy Monday!

I am back in reading mode after three failed attempts of trying to get through some books.  Right now I’m still trying to plow through Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and 14 Days Later by Sibel Hodge Between all that I tried reading The Book of Awesome which was good and entertaining, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to finish it because my loan period ended.

Anyways, I requested The Carrie Diaries from my local library’s eLibrary and they finally told me that I could “take it out” so I jumped at the chance.  I knew I would have to get through the book fairly fast because you only get a two week loan period from the time you take it out, but luckily it took me about seven days to get through it.

For those of you unfamiliar with what the book is about, basically it is a prequel to Sex and the City but aimed towards a younger demographic.  I think it would be safe to say that the novel is for the teen to 20-somethings age group.

Before Manolos and cocktails Carrie Bradshaw was a high school student in a small New England town where she lives with her dad and three sisters (her mother died when Carrie was younger).  An aspiring writer, Carrie’s future looks like she is going to go to her dad’s alma matter Brown to become a scientist once she finishes up her senior year.  Now throw into the mix three best friends (no not Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte), a typical “mean girl”, the stereotypical bad boy, and you got The Carrie Diaries.

If you are looking for something to soothe your Sex and the City cravings, this isn’t it. The novel, although well-written and entertaining, is very different from what you would probably expect.  To me, it was like a mix of Twilight (sans vampires and werewolves of course) and the Lindsay Lohan classic flick (before her jail stints of course) Mean Girls.  If you are looking for designer shoes, Barneys, martinis, and a stark description of the Manhattan skyline, well, then I would skip this novel.  If you are looking for a teen melodrama with a small town feel then pick this up.  It may not have Jimmy Choos, but it’s still a good read.

I personally haven’t read Candice Bushnell’s Sex and the City (in fact, the only other novel by her I’ve ever read was 4 Blondes) but like a lot of people, the Carrie I know is the one from the HBO franchise.  There is something that you have to realize going into reading this and that is that The Carrie Diaries is a prequel to the Carrie in the Sex and the City book.  One reviewer on commented that there were a lot of inconsistencies between this book and the series, and of course there is going to be.  Like a lot of novels that are adapted for the small screen or big screen, stuff changes – characters are often changed from who they were in the pages of paperback to fit certain storylines in a television series or movie.  I believe that Sex and the City is a stand-alone novel, meaning that there was no sequels, so of course there are going to be some things that don’t add up.  The Carrie Diaries is about Bushnell’s Carrie, not Darren Star’s Carrie.

Anyways, for all you wondering if there is some sex and “the city” in The Carrie Diaries, well yes, there certainly is.  Although Carrie is still a virgin in this prequel, her friends seem to be quite active in the act (which provides a sub-plot), and as for New York, Carrie makes her way to the big city at the very end of the novel where she meets a familiar face to SATC fans (which creates a great springboard for the sequel to the prequel, Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel).

So would I recommend it?  If you are a huge SATC fan (or like teen novels), then yes I would. If you expecting the Carrie that we all know and love, then maybe skip it.  This Carrie is a bit far off from the Carrie made famous in SATC.  There are hints of her, but don’t expect a huge closet devoted to shoes.  Carrie is first and foremost a writer and that is what The Carrie Diaries explores, not the frivolous things that came with her lifestyle.

Like I mentioned there is a sequel which I definitely will read eventually, right now I have way too many books to get through.  Also, as a side note, apparently they are making The Carrie Diaries into a television show (duh, not surprised) on the CW.  Who are the executive producers you ask?  None other than Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the duo behind The OC and Gossip Girl.  It’s gonna be a good one.

Have you read The Carrie Diaries? If so, what were your thoughts?  Read it or skip it?