Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review: THE CARRIE DIARIES

You might remember our little review of Sex And The City 2 that we posted last week. If you didn't read it, all you really need to know is that we weren't all that impressed, to, uh, put it mildly.

So, when my friend loaned me a copy of THE CARRIE DIARIES (the prequel to Sex And The City by the author of the book the series was based on, Candace Bushnell) a week later I was a little skeptical. To be perfectly honest, I was feeling a little down on the entire franchise after seeing that travesty they tried to pass off as a feature length film.

And the first 50 pages or so were a little lackluster for me. They were entertaining enough to keep me reading, but it was still very easy for me to put the book down. But then Carrie got a boyfriend and started trying to figure out how to remain independent and happy with a guy in her life. She always put her friends first and she started to explore her life long dream of becoming a writer.

The book got good.

So good that when I read the last line I found myself wishing I had the next book in the series so I could read it right away. Bushnell did Carrie proud. She managed to take a self-assured sex columnist in her 40's and transform her into a 17-year-old girl trying to navigate her first real relationship. And there's so much for young women to learn in these pages. Like the HBO series, Bushnell forces the reader to think about whether or not landing the guy of your dreams is worth sacrificing your sense of self. I loved that this book is bringing SATC's celebration of independence and girl power to the younger generation.

Bottom line: Sex And The City fans, save the $10 it will take to buy a movie ticket and order THE CARRIE DIARIES on Amazon for 45 cents more. You'll thank me later.

29 comments:

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I had The Carrie Diaries in my hands at B&N the other day. I skimmed a couple pages and liked the cover art. Now I know to bring it to the counter next time. Thanks for the recommendation!

Oh, and this isn't the first blog post I've read suggesting SATC movie 2 was a disappointment. I'm glad to know, and keeping my money in my pocket for other things. The discussions on morning TV about the so-called fashion-forward look of the characters has been turning my stomach. Gold lamé harem pants? Really?

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I think I'm going to have to check out both anyway. I like having a little disappointment to rant about! *cackle* Plus, it just shows what NOT to do in story telling. hehehe

salarsenッ said...

I have to admit I was a little bummed after reading your review of the movie because I loved the show so much. Now I have another outlet. I haven't read the books yet, but I guess I must. Thanks.

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

You girls always make me laugh. Loving your bottom line :) What I'm about to say can only be said from the safety of my computer because otherwise, I may have a Christian Louboutin thrown at me. I have never really embraced Sex and the City. I just never have. Sorry :( But I love a good book, and you've opened a window I didn't think of before in bringing this SATC world into mine. Thanks for the recommendation girls!

Marissa

Matthew Rush said...

I commend you ladies for having the courage and resolve the pick that one up. Nicely done.

Jen said...

Great review, I too was skeptical but you have made a believer out of me and I'll take the plunge!

Jill Wheeler said...

I couldn't believe it when I saw this book at B&N yesterday! I had no idea they were going in that direction! But, like you, I thought of the movie and shuddered. I might have to pick it up after all, thanks to you!

Ms. Book Sniper said...

Yay! I picked up a copy of this recently and keep eying it in the pile next to my bed. It might have to be next....

Vegas Linda Lou said...

I've never cared for SATC; not one of those women seem like the type I'd want to be friends with. Maybe it's because I can't stand people who are more self-absorbed than I am!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks for the honest review- sounds like I might have to add it to my list!

Rachele Alpine said...

I've been wanting to get this book...I think I may have to buy it now! Thanks for the recommendation!

Tahereh said...

i kept seeing this at the bookstore and i WANTED to pick it up, but i've just been so disappointed in SATC lately -- i, too, didn't think it'd be worth it.

thanks for changing my mind!

hehe more books :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm definitely taking your advice. :D

I've been going a little crazy at the bookstore lately. You know, 'cause those five new books already sitting on my shelves weren't apparently enough. I'll let you know what I think of my latest find once I've read it (after THE SUMMER OF SKINNY DIPPING). The concept sounded great! (he he you'll have to wait before I tell you the title).

The Hot Heads Groupie said...

Well, I did still go see SATC 2 after reading your review, but that was only because I had already planned a “Girls’ Night Out” around it. If I had seen your review before I had hit “send” on my Evites, I can assure you, they wouldn’t have gone out.

I might have still rented the movie somewhere down the road out of curiousity, but I wouldn’t have helped generate so much revenue for its creators. As much as it pains me to say this, SATC 2 really did jump the shark with this one. Your review was spot on! The scenes in the Middle East were WILDLY inappropriate and quite offensive.

I am a proud, flag waving American, but this movie made me feel the way I felt walking around Japan on what we call VJ Day (and what the Japanese recognize as a national day of mourning). Yes, I know that’s completely different. No I didn’t want any more Americans to die and of course, that was a much more complicated situation. I’m just saying I felt uncomfortable then and I felt uncomfortable the other night. I just didn’t like watching people who were, in theory, representing me to be behaving in the way the girls, particularly Samantha, were behaving. I found myself really hoping that there weren’t any women of Middle Eastern decent in the audience.

I didn’t like the blatant cultural bashing and I didn’t like watching someone who is supposed to be a savvy business woman make such a rookie mistake. Samantha’s flagrant disregard for her host leading up to her meeting with him was on par with a person taking an open can of Pepsi into a high level strategic meeting with the Board of Directors at Coca Cola. It was embarrassing to watch!

Having said that, there were parts of the movie I really enjoyed. I got a big kick out of Liza Minelli’s cameo. I enjoyed meeting the 80s versions of the girls, as I had always wondered about how they met. I was glad to see Carrie and Big’s relationship weather the storm. I could tell that the scene in the bar between Miranda and Charlotte hit a chord with a lot of the audience and I enjoyed living vicariously through the foursome while they partook in all that over the top decadence. (I want to go to a wedding where swans are part of the décor and I want to have my own butler at a lavish, exotic hotel!) Overall, however, I found SATC 2 to be a big “miss”. I think they’re going to have a hard time getting the green light for a SATC 3 and they’ll have an even harder time getting me back in the theater to watch it.

Because of this recent bad taste in my mouth, I am also over the franchise right at the moment. Until I read this post, I had absolutely no interest in reading The Carrie Diaries. I’m kind of in a place in life, however, where I think I might like to see a 40 year take a believable trip back to her youth. I think I would like to see how Carrie Bradshaw became CARRIE BRADSHAW. Maybe I will check the book out after all.

Thanks for the heads up. You girls entertain me! :)

Elana Johnson said...

I will add it to my list. Which is now ever-growing again.

Erica Chapman said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read that one, nice to know you really liked it!

Adding to the list ;o)

Steph said...

This book has been sitting on my shelf for 2 weeks, but I keep pulling out something else because of all of the bad reviews the movie has been getting, kinda felt like maybe she just wrote it for the buck. Glad to hear it was not only decent, but actually really good! Will read it next. (Also, thanks for the review on Deception, I read that over the weekend and it was FAB!)

Jackee said...

Good to know! And I agreed with your SIC2 review--totally.

Thanks for the book review. I'll go and check it out.

Have a great Wednesday! (And I can't wait for the Monday vlog!)

Patti said...

The Carrie Diaries is one of the three books I'm currently reading. It's good to know it gets better.

JEM said...

Can you tell me about the book production? Because it looks like an actual diary, and that makes me VERY EXCITED.

Lisa_Gibson said...

Thanks for the review. This is in my TBR pile.

Marsha Sigman said...

The book is ALWAYS better.

Samantha said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Carrie Diaries - good to know! Do you think Bushnell wrote it? I was going to see SATC2 but heard from you and a lot of others that it wasn't worth it. I'll have to read the book instead! :)

Janet Johnson said...

Very interesting. I'm glad the book is good. I always hate it when they make a book from a movie just to cash in and it's barely palatable.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm glad the book is better than the movie! :)

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

Susan Fields said...

Thanks for the review - sounds like a great book! It seems so odd that you can buy a book for only 45 cents more than a movie ticket. That puts things into perspective.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

That's so true about this book only costing 45 cents more than seeing the movie. i might just take your advice.

Nishant said...

Very interesting.
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