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tcd The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell | Rating: ★★★★★

The world is full of people who all want the same thing, and you have to do a little something extra to make them remember you.

In the prequel spin off series of Candace Bushnell’s now-iconic novel Sex and the City and its main character Carrie Bradshaw, readers can expect a fluffy, stylish, intelligent and thoughtful coming of age story as Carrie experiences quite a lot of firsts in her teenage years.

Everything that one has come to expect in Bushnell’s work is more than present in this first installment–The Carrie Diaries delivers and is a delightful read for everyone, including those who have never watched or read Sex and the City.

It’s important to note, as well, that this is a prequel to the novel and not the show. And it’s also nothing like the prequel show that the CW aired a few years back. You know the CW and its “adaptations”–is it even fair to call them such? Phew, that was a lot to say and bordering on bitter–but I needed to remind everyone such details before beginning my review.

Before the City, before the Bradshaw audiences know and love, this leading lady was just like everyone else in a suburb in Connecticut. The Carrie Diaries is full of realistic plots, humourous moments and a whole lot of questionable styles from teenagers in the 1980s.

It is full of family, friends, angst and romance. Candace captures it all wonderfully, right down to the deliciously sweet tone she uses as we glimpse Carrie’s inner most thoughts.

Miss Bradshaw is a fan favorite for a reason and it’s really nice to see her as she was before all we’ve come to know.

And to make it all the more fun: Carrie Bradshaw is a very relatable character with intelligence and a whole lot of spunk (God, I don’t like that word but I had to use it) which readers will know already.

I’ve always loved her, but seeing her in her teens–naive yet wise beyond her years and armed with a wicked purse and go-go boots made me fall further in love with her. It’s nice seeing interactions with her family, with her friends; there’s a steady flow of characters and connections in The Carrie Diaries that just brings a smile to our faces.

Betrayal, honesty, talk of life and sex, pop culture from the 1980s references and more–The Carrie Diaries is exceptionally fun and worth a second glance. For the new readers, this will be a fun introduction to the series. For old readers, it will be nostalgic in more ways than one.

You’ll be pleased to find a realistic voice in Carrie and a sparkle amongst her friends in Walt, Mouse, Lali and Maggie. Carrie’s family backstory and her romance with the mysterious and older Sebastian Kydd, as well as the betrayal that rocks her mind in a way that only teenage heartbreak could.

It’s a real treat to watch as Carrie grows and develops into the woman that we know now. Seeing her finding her voice in writing; seeing her growing and maturing, seeing all the changes life can bring.

The Carrie Diaries sets the stage perfectly for the second installment, Summer in the City, which will take place in Carrie’s beloved NYC.

As I’ve said, you don’t need to be a fan of Sex and the City to enjoy The Carrie Diaries. It stands on its own quite well and is a cheerful and honest coming of age story with an incredible voice to it–with more than its fair share of adorable moments!

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