Reviews for Carrie Diaries

Booklist Reviews 2010 May #2
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. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
The Sex and the City author's first YA book chronicling Carrie Bradshaw's high school years is unsurprising but not disappointing. The protagonist is sassy, smart, fashionable, and distinctly "Carrie" in her teenage aspirations, relationships, and experiences. The volume is pitched for older teens who crave the edgy glamour that made Bushnell famous. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #2
Before she made a name for herself as a New York City sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw lived in a small Connecticut town and navigated the perils of high school, the events of which she narrates here in the present tense. She dates the new bad boy, Sebastian Kydd, but his reputation as the school Lothario drives a wedge between Carrie and her best friend. At home with her father and two younger sisters, Carrie mourns her dead mother, a declared feminist with a passion for fashion. Whether she faces the wrath of the most popular girl in school or the decision to have sex with Sebastian, Carrie handles her stumbles with courage and wit. Academically, she's got Ivy League brains and a talent for math, but her dream is to become a writer, and thus does Bushnell set up Carrie's future. Teen fans of Sex and the City will easily recognize the Carrie they already know and love, but this book can stand alone. Yes, the sex, drugs and drinking will titillate, but Carrie's sharp observations of her peers and human relationships give the book smart, sassy intellectual power. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 April #2

This polished prequel to Sex and the City reveals the ample drama that filled Carrie Bradshaw's life before her move to Manhattan. With wit and insight, Carrie chronicles her emotionally charged senior year at a small Connecticut high school. While her friends' lives seem to be falling into place--especially on the dating and sex fronts--Carrie has just been rejected by a summer writing seminar in New York City, and laments, "I have nothing figured out at all." She falls hard for a slick underachiever who eventually leaves her for one of her best friends, while her widower father grapples with single parenthood, made tougher by Carrie's rebellious youngest sister's antics. Readers should be amused by some of the period details (Carrie's 18-year-old friends can drink legally), though they don't weigh heavily on the story, making the early 1980s setting feel almost incidental. Similarly, there's little that shouts, "This is the Carrie Bradshaw you know and love," as opposed to any other thoughtful teenager slowly coming into her own. But readers should enjoy witnessing Carrie's burgeoning independence and confidence as a writer. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

Gr 9 Up--In the 1980s, Carrie Bradshaw is the oldest of three girls who live with their widowed father. She is on the swim team, wants to attend a summer writing program in New York, has applied to Brown, and is the last of her girlfriends to still have her virginity. When the rakish Sebastian Kydd returns to town, all the girls in the school become distracted, but he seems to have his eye on Carrie, at least until her best friend begins to take notice of him. The action is lightweight: senior pranks are played, dates are prevalent, friendships are tested, and Carrie keeps letting boys run rampant over her. It takes most of the book for her to stand up for herself. This protagonist is clearly written to resemble her older self as portrayed in the TV series Sex and the City. She spends the novel questioning relationships; worrying about friendships; developing a funky, independent sense of fashion; flirting with boys while dating two at once; and having a gay male friend. The author is known for writing frivolous, adult chick-lit books and she does not stray from that style here. While toning down the antics that take place in her adult books, she still writes about partying, drinking, smoking (cigarettes and dope), sex, and shoplifting, making this book best suited to older teens looking for a diversion.--Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT

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