One of my goals for the year was to read more and thanks to some recent late night baby sitting gigs, I have finally gotten a chance to sit down and read once the kids are asleep. The first book I chose for the year was The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. Gee, her name sounds familiar…where have I heard it before? Oh, that’s right! Sex and the City. And Carrie? The same one.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Sex and the City fan. I have not seen every episode and memorized every detail. But I’ve seen enough episodes and since Gossip Girl has ended, the TV version of The Carrie Diaries has caught my attention. And clearly I’m not the only one making this connection. Manhattan? Well-dressed high schoolers? Sounds about right.
The first thing I noticed in the book was that it seemed inconsistent from the Carrie I remember from SATC. Thanks to Wikipedia, I was able to verify this. While I don’t remember much mention of her family on SATC, her father and sister were apparently mentioned. The book seems to have added an extra sister. Also, Wikipedia tells me that Carrie lost her virginity in eleventh grade but in the book, which takes place during Carrie’s senior year of high school, she is not happy with being the only virgin in her group of friends. I know those seem like minor things, but I feel like SATC fanatics would be mad. I know that if JK Rowling were to write a prequel to Harry Potter and suddenly his parents are alive and he has little siblings, I would try to form some sort of angry mob. Or at least join one.
Something that also bothered me is that there were literally no tied to SATC until the VERY END. I think I would have been okay with that, except for the part where they introduce somebody very important in like. The last sentence. Apparently there’s a second book, so I guess I should read that to see where it goes but really??
One thing that is the same as SATC is Carrie’s terrible life decisions regarding men. I know I said I didn’t watch too many SATC episodes, but I do remember lots of men, desperation, and whining (unless you were Samantha…I swear her mother was Blanche from the Golden Girls).
Back to my original point. So this Carrie…she’s the same. Luckily in the book there are only two men she needs to choose between – the mysterious and rebellious new kid or the parent-approved Ivy League student. I don’t want to spoil anybody’s reading experience, but you can probably guess who she chooses. The frustrating thing is that she feels she needs the approval of both of these guys. SHE IS NOT A GOOD ROLE MODEL FOR YOUNG WOMEN. Sorry. Just my opinion. If I had read these books in high school, I probably would have been more whiny and desperate than I already was.
Speaking of this taking place during high school, I don’t know how these CHILDREN got away with the stuff they did. It’s not like Gossip Girl where the parents have interests other than their children (like their money). This is Connecticut in the 1980s, a mere few years before I graced that lovely state with my appearance. It just seems that Carrie and her friends got away with a little too much.
So what about the TV show? I’ve only seen the first episode, but they’ve already changed/eliminated some characters from the book. That extra sister? Gone. Carrie’s best friend that causes so much trouble? Gone. Mouse? Asian. Her super nice boyfriend? Douche bag. Carrie and her friends? They’re juniors in high school this time around, presumably to give the show a chance to have a second season (and to give Carrie the chance to do the dirty!). We get to see more of Carrie’s interaction with her family and learn more about what they are going through and I really liked that. A complete change is that Carrie is already going into the city for work…in the book she hadn’t gone yet.
Honestly, the only reason I even own this book is because it was in the Walmart bargain bin. This might be the first time I say this…but I recommend the show over the book. What do you think? Also, check out the Carrie Diaries tonight on the CW!