Book summary: The Carrie Diaries

2010 BY CANDACE BUSHNELL

Before Manhattan and Manolos, who was Carrie Bradshaw? In her first novel for teens, Bushnell fills in her Sex and the City star's growing-up years with this chronicle of Carrie's senior year of high school in a small New England town. Bushnell maintains believable continuity of character in this teen version of her cultural icon, and fans will enjoy watching Carrie develop her familiar adult traits: her love of fashion, her wit, her writing ambitions, and her own brand of feminism. Once again, Carrie has three best friends, the alcohol flows freely, and sex is always on the conversation agenda, but here there's a lot more talk than action (Carrie is a virgin). There are love interests, of course: a gorgeous heartbreaker and a clean-cut college guy who kisses “like a man who thinks in straight lines.” As with the TV show, though, it's the book's friendships that teens may relate to most. Fans will love this (and only insiders will get the ending), but smart, vulnerable, questioning Carrie emerges as a likable, stand-alone character. Expect plenty of adult interest, too.

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