I have a confession. I love young adult literature. I could lie and say I read it because of my job, but I had a soft spot for YA novels long before I added high school English teacher to my resume. So I was pretty excited when I learned that “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell had published The Carrie Diaries, a young adult novel that chronicles Carrie Bradshaw’s senior year of high school.
In the novel we see Carrie as a 17-year-old girl from a small town in Connecticut, which she can’t wait to escape. While her father wants her focusing on getting accepted into Brown University, she’s a bit distracted by boys and dreams of the Big Apple. After being rejected once, she’s determined to get into a summer writing program at The New School in New York. Meanwhile, all her friends are starting to have sex and she suddenly fears she’ll be a virgin forever. And then there’s the new kid in town — Sebastian Kydd, a bad boy she’s had a crush on since she was 12.
I’ve mentioned before that while I envy Carrie’s wardrobe and career, her character sometimes annoys. me. But when I read this novel I found myself absolutely falling in love with teenage Carrie.
But there is so much about Carrie’s story to which I can relate. She’s in love with a boy who’s irresistible, yet all wrong for her, and her relationship with him comes between her and her best friend. Just like teenage Javacia, young Carrie has dreams of moving to New York to become a writer and is beginning to explore the real meaning of feminism.
The dynamic plot pushes the story along and makes the book a real page-turner that you don’t have to be a true fan of the show or the movies to enjoy. You’ll have to make yourself put down the book and go to bed. But there’s more. Carrie is painted as a remarkably self-aware girl and her wise-beyond-her-years insight into life and human nature add substance to the story making the book more than brain candy, and making Carrie the girl you wish you had as a best friend when you were 17.