Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel

I can't resist a good book and what better time to stock up than summer, right before beach season? Personally, I love to swim but reading on the beach comes in a close second. Hey, you can't spend ALL day in the water so why not cozy up with a good book and and a frozen drink? Just make sure to wear that SPF and a great pair of sunglasses.

Every year there are a few must read beach books. Last summer it was the first Carrie Diaries book by Candace Bushnell. I got it as a birthday gift and devoured it in one day. Honestly, I was pretty unsure about it. I didn't hate it but I didn't exactly dig it either. I found it a little boring and not enough "Carrie." Luckily, part two is much more exciting with the additions of two of your favorite SATC characters. I'm not going to spoil it and tell you who, but I'm sure you'll figure it out quickly.

This book picks up right where the last one left off and I always love that about books, then you don't have to read the missing parts in back story, always a plus for me. As a writer, I really try to write the way I'd want to read and it's more fun to see things as they're happening than read about them after they've already happened. Agreed? Carrie's just arrived in NY for her summer writing program and to say she's a little flustered is a definite understatement. You simply have to see her transformation from suburban girl to city slicker.

You really learn a lot about three of the main Sex and the City girls, background information that I don't think ever came out in the show that really gives you perspective into their lives. You learn about Carrie's romance with an older man and her foray into writing as well as the beginning of her eclectic fashion sense and her love affair with New York. Isn't that what we all really wanted to know anyway? How Carrie became the fashionable NYC diva that she is? This book is more of a "coming of age" novel than a romance or even friendship novel and I love that.

I'm going to be frank here and say that I'm not a huge Candace Bushnell fan. As far as the chick-lit genre goes, she's highly overrated. Sorry! There are majorly better authors out there, with better story lines and characters and I don't think she'd be relevant if her work had not been made into two TV series, Lipstick Jungle and, of course, Sex and the City. That being said, I do think this book was significantly better than her other work. It's easy to ignore the writing when you want to know what happens, such as the case with this book. There were more characters to care about and it really sped up the storyline. Don't you dare put this book down until you read the last page, I promise you'll love the little surprise waiting for you there.

As a reader, I have another confession to make; I hate hardcover books with a passion. The only reason they even exist in my world is if it's a book I have to get my hands on right away, a rarity considering the size of my home library. I'm fully stocked and can't imagine ever getting caught up to the point where I need to purchase books in order to have something to read. It's just that hardcover books are so stiff and rigid, they aren't as loveable as softcover and seriously, I can't be the only one who takes the dust jacket off immediately and hates the ugliness underneath. Why can't they be pretty? Why the rant you may wonder? As pretty as the dust jacket is on this book I actually really like the look of the book's cover itself, it's pretty. It's a silly observation, that probably matters not, but I thought I'd share none the less.

If you pick up this book you must tell me how you like it. Plus, I'm completely open to hate mail for dissing Candace Bushnell, completely, just don't attack me personally, keep it respectful. Agree with me? Great, I always love to hear those three little words, "you were right!"

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