Posted by: Debbie Kahl | January 23, 2011

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

As an avid fan of everything Sex and the City; book, movies, TV show & tour in New York (yes, you read that right, there is a fabulous tour in NY that covers everything SATC – you should check out the next time you’re there, it’s amazing), it was inevitable that The Carrie Diaries would make its way to my bookcase. This ‘diary’ is the prequel to SATC, and focuses on Carrie Bradshaw as a high school senior in the 1980s. It’s officially classified as YA (because of the themes it covers, which we’ll get to in a minute), but it can be equally enjoyed by adult readers who wish to learn more about Carrie’s backstory.  

So, what’s it about? Well, even as a teenager, Carrie Bradshaw was ahead of her time. Her quirky sense of fashion, which is one of the defining things about her as an adult, is just not appreciated in the suburbs of Connecticut. A member of the school swim team and with dreams of being a writer, this novel starts with Carrie in her final year of high school – a time when she, like everyone else at that age, is stuggling to find who they are. The oldest of three sisters, Carrie is navigating her way through her teen years with an overprotective father and without the assistance of her mother, who died prior to start of the novel. She just wants her real life start, and it can’t come soon enough.

This is also the year that Carrie falls in love with Sebastian Kydd, your classic, charming bad boy who’s not well liked by Carrie’s friends. When she’s not mulling over her relationship with Sebastian, Carrie’s clashing with her nemesis Donna La Donna, the most popular girl in school, who’s also after Sebastian. It appears that Donna spends most of her time making Carrie’s life a misery, until Carrie exacts a little revenge of her own through an article in the school newspaper. When it transpires that Carrie’s bestie Lali has been causing most of the issues, and Donna and Carrie are paired together in a photography class, they put their differences aside and eventually become friends.

As we know from SATC, Carrie is loyal to her friends and this has never been more evident than in The Carrie Diaries. It is here we witness Carrie wagging school to go to a ‘pregnancy’ doctor with her friend and have her first gay bar experience with another. It is also where Carrie has her first ‘frenemy’ experience, when her best friend Lali’s jealousy manifests itself into sabotage and infidelity with Sebastian.  These relationships help to shape the Carrie we all know so well in the future.

As the end of school year approaches and despite her protests that her heart is in writing, Carrie’s father is adamant she will attend Brown University (his former University) after graduation and study science. As luck would have it she’s finally accepted into a holiday writing seminar at The New School in New York, and makes her way there after graduation, promising her father it’s only for the summer. Upon arrival in New York, her purse is stolen and after begging for change, she rings Donna La Donna’s ‘cool cousin’ Samantha Jones for help, and the SATC story we all know so well begins.

There has been some debate that this shouldn’t be classified as a YA novel because it’s set in the 1980s, and is therefore a bit dated for teens of today. I would argue that most teens I know are aware of SATC and because the novel tackles YA issues such as; loss of a parent, teen drinking, peer pressure, rebellion, first love, teen pregnancy, teen relationships, jealousy, infidelity and homosexuality, The Carrie Diaries is a must read for any teen, or fan of Carrie Bradshaw and/or SATC. The sequel to The Carrie Diaries is set for publication this year by Harper Collins and I personally can’t wait to read it. I hope you enjoy it too. Happy reading everyone. 🙂

For more information on The Carrie Diaries visit:



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  2. LOVED this book 🙂

  3. Okay add this to my growing TBR pile. This thing’s going to fall down on me and they’ll have to send archeologists to find me, but at least I’ll have a good read and a lie down while they’re digging.

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