Book Review: The Carrie Diaries

Rating: 4 out of 5

This review is thanks to one of my best friends, who gave me this prequel to Sex and the City for my birthday. The book, written by Candace Bushnell and published April of last year, describes the teenage life of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends at Castlebury High in Connecticut.

I love the show "Sex and the City" and frequently get sucked into marathons on TV, so this was the perfect gift. I was a little disappointed that Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte don't make appearances, but I knew that they didn't know each other in high school (not to mention, Samantha is much older than the others). Thus, I jumped into the book to learn more about Carrie and her first steps to becoming the sassy sex-columnist in New York whom fans adore.

The story follows Carrie's struggles with her friends, relatives, and--of course--boys. She falls head over heels for new guy Sebastian Kydd, but unfortunately so does every other girl, including queen bee Donna LaDonna and bitchy frenemy Lali.

(Yes, one of the book's weaknesses is its outrageous character names. One of Carrie's friends is just referred to as 'The Mouse' with little explanation as to why. I just tried to ignore it.)

The plot was pretty predictable, but then again, most young adult novels are. But what I loved about this prequel was how realistic it was. Sure, all their smoking, underage drinking, and sleeping around was frustrating--and not reflective of my own high school experiences--but all their antics were believable. And the back-stabbing, rumor-milling, and clique-hopping was exactly how I remembered it when I was a senior myself five years ago.

The shining star, though, is Carrie's witty insight. She's actually quite smart and mature for her age, and although she gets fooled by the people around her, she reflects on her life with humor and charm. She still has a lot to learn about dating and making friends, but as the reader, you feel like she'll catch on pretty quickly. Her determination to become a writer no matter what anyone says is something I can connect to, and I kept cheering her on the entire way because I know exactly where she'll end up!

This book won't be as appealing to people unfamiliar with "Sex and the City," but if you're a fanatic like me, this is a light-hearted, entertaining read. I'll definitely buy its sequel Summer and the City soon!