Candance Bushnell has written a fantastic prequel to her Sex And The City. Carrie Bradshaw is a senior in high school in a small town. She dreams of being a writer, but is struggling to find her voice and wondering if it is all just an unrealistic dream. Carrie has a cast of characters who are her friends, such as the smart Mouse, dramatic Maggie and competitive Lali. She falls in love with the dreamy new boy, Sabastian Kydd. Carrie wonders how much she is willing to compromise to be with him. We watch her love of vintage clothes unfold as she searches through her mother’s things (her mother died recently after a long illness) and dons genuine go go boots from the 70’s for the first day of school. “I figure the boots have had a much more interesting life than I have.”
Watching Carrie develop into the character I know and love so well was a joy! She is a smart (takes Calculus and her dad wants her to be a scientist), independent character hopefully teens will latch onto. Unlike Bushnell’s more mature material, The Carrie Diaries are age appropriate and written for the teen audience. Page 109 make me cheer out loud. Carrie talked about how she wanted to be rescued by the feminist writer, Mary Gordon Howard. That experience was humiliating and she was ashamed. “But that was a long time ago. I’m not that girl anymore. I don’t need to feel ashamed. And I don’t need to be rescued either.”
Carrie finds her writing voice after a particularly humiliating encounter with the resident mean girl, Donna LaDonna. She writes a column for the school paper under a pen name about Queen Bees. At that moment I heard Sarah Jessica Parker’s inner monologue voice come out as she does when she writes in column in the series. Carrie learns about the power of the written word and how the reaction is not always what you expect.
Another favorite moment of mine is on page 384 when she says, “I have this theory: If you forgive someone, they can’t hurt you anymore.”
This is a great read! I recommend it for both teens and adults. I love the last line in the book. It will make you smile! In my dream world, Candance Bushnell will also write The Samantha Diaries, The Miranda Diaries and The Charlotte Diaries.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Carrie’s mother embraces feminism when she reads Mary Gordon Howard. What does feminism mean to you?
What did Carrie mean when she said she didn’t need to feel ashamed anymore. And that she doesn’t need to be rescued anymore.
Do you think Sebastian is playing Carrie? What is his deal?
Carrie talks about how she feels she has to change when Sabastian is around. Talk about how this happens with boys they know. Is it worth it?
Discuss the Pod People and Donna LaDonna. How does Carrie’s relationship with her change throughout the book?
Talk about Carrie’s relationship with Lali.
Talk about George. Would they be attracted to him.
Talk about Carrie’s decision about her virginity.
“I have this theory: If you forgive someone, they can’t hurt you anymore.” Discuss.
Talk about the articles she writes about the Nerd Prince and the Queen Bee.