The Carrie Diaries

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For the television series of the same name, see The Carrie Diaries (TV series)
The Carrie Diaries
The Carrie Diaries.jpg
Author Candace Bushnell
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Publication date
27 April 2010
Media type Print Hardback
Pages 400 (Hardback, 2010)
ISBN ISBN 0-06-172891-8 (Hardcover, 2010)
Followed by Summer and the City

The Carrie Diaries is a book series written by Candace Bushnell. The series is a prequel to Sex and the City, and follows the character of Carrie Bradshaw during her senior year of high school during the early 1980s and part of her life in New York working as a writer. The Los Angeles Times described it as "An addictive, ingenious origin story."[1]

Plot Summary[edit]

The story focuses on 17-year-old Carrie Bradshaw and the situations that surround her. Carrie is the older of two girls, and she lives with her lawyer father. Carrie secretly wants to attend school for journalism, but her father wants her to attend Brown and follow in his footsteps. The summer concluding her junior year, Carrie applies for a writing program but fails to gain acceptance. Although set back, Carrie won't let anything get in the way of her future writing career. She has four main best friends: Lali, a childhood pal, the beautiful but insecure Maggie, Roberta (aka "The Mouse"), the smartest girl in school, and Maggie's boyfriend, Walt.

Starting off the first day of senior year in small town Castlebury, Connecticut, Carrie and Lali feel this year is going to be different, and they will get boyfriends. Carrie is distracted, however, by her recent rejection letter from the summer writing program. As the school year takes off, Carrie catches up with her other best friends. Maggie concludes that she and Walt have been experiencing intimacy issues, as Walt will not go all the way with her. "The Mouse" mentions that she lost her virginity to a guy she met over summer vacation, which leaves Carrie wondering if she is the only virgin left in her group of friends.

Rumors about the new kid start going around school. Carrie is stunned when she hears that it's Sebastian Kydd, a good looking, smart, wealthy boy who moved away from Castlebury a few years ago. His mother was friends with Carrie's mother (who died before the start of the novel), and Carrie remembers how at age 12, she became infatuated with him as soon as they met. As classes start, Carrie realizes that Sebastian is in her Calculus class. Later at lunch, Sebastian runs into Carrie, and they have a brief conversation about what to eat. Carrie leaves to go to the bathroom, overhearing Jen P. and Jen S., two popular cheerleaders, talking about dating Sebastian.

Carrie sees Sebastian in the corridor and jumps onto him and they start kissing.

After school, Carrie and Maggie smoke at a local old barn. While Maggie is stressing over senior year, Carrie wonders if she'll ever have sex before something gets in the way. All of a sudden, Peter Arnold, a smart boy and friend of "The Mouse", comes up and starts smoking with them. Carrie is rude to him, but Maggie takes a liking to Peter. He asks about "The Nutmeg," the school's newspaper, whom he is editor. Carrie accidentally mentions how she believes it to be nonsense. Peter challenges her, saying she should write for it since she is always telling people she's a writer. Carrie gets mad and storms off, recalling her "lame" short stories she wrote and the rejection letter from the writing program.

A few days later, Carrie and her friends go to a bar to hangout. Maggie mysteriously brings Peter along, and Carrie wonders what's going on between them since Maggie has a boyfriend. Walt doesn't seem to care or worry, so Carrie doesn't either. Although she does start to worry when she sees Sebastian walk into the bar with Donna LaDonna, a girl whom Carrie is not so fond of. When everyone starts dancing, Carrie approaches Sebastian, dancing with him as he mentions not having any interest in Donna. This pleases Carrie as Sebastian hints in his interest toward her.

As Carrie gets deeper into senior year, she decides she wants to paint her graduating year on top of the old barn. It's tradition for some of the senior boys to do it, but Carrie wants to do it herself, leaving her mark, showing girls can be just as brave as boys. During the incident, Sebastian shows up and offers to help. Carrie and Sebastian climb to the top, but the ladder falls and the two get stuck. To make matters worse, police show up and her friends leave, promising to come back later. While waiting, Sebastian tells Carrie how he admires how different she is from other girls and that she has a mind of her own. Carrie is flattered, not realizing she is so different. Sebastian kisses her and tells her that he'll call her. Right then and there, Carrie falls for him.

After a few days, Carrie becomes paranoid because Sebastian never called. She visits Brown for an interview where she meets George Carter, a current student. George, from New York City, is immediately smitten with Carrie and she agrees when he asks her out. When Carrie gets back to Castlebury, Maggie admits about her and Peter having sex. Carrie is shocked because she cheated on Walt, and Maggie brings up the fact that he never would have had sex with her. Maggie realizes she needs to end it with Walt, but wants Carrie to do it for her.

Sebastian comes over to see Carrie and they go out on a date. Carrie is blissfully happy, until hearing at school that he's dating Donna LaDonna. Carrie gets worried, but Sebastian concludes they are nothing. She is relieved, until pranks start happening, believing Donna is behind it all over jealously. Sebastian seems apathetic to the pranks, but they really bother Carrie, trying to push them aside and focus on other things. While on a date with Sebastian, Carrie points out his quietness and things get tense. He thinks she's picking on him.

When Carrie is officially with Sebastian, she realizes she must tell George. She doesn't want to lead him on and tries telling him several times, but is interrupted. She realizes how much she likes telling her problems to him because he listens and supports her, thus making it harder to break it off with him. George also says he can help her with her writing to get into the summer writing program in New York City and Carrie takes advantage of this, postponing telling him about Sebastian.

Carrie realizes that she must gain experience to get better at writing, and goes to the only option she has- writing for the school newspaper. While they won't allow her to write just yet, she does participate. Maggie, now in a full relationship with Peter, is still curious about Walt. Ever since their breakup, he had been leaving town and Maggie wanted to find out where. She, The Mouse, and Carrie follow him one day and see him kissing a guy who had graduated from Castlebury two years ago. Shocked by this, Maggie becomes offended.

As her and Sebastian's relationship continues, it gets both stronger and weaker. They start disagreeing more often, but start spending more and more time together. However, Lali gets closer to Sebastian as well. She says how she gets along with him and Carrie trusts them, but her intuition tells her something is wrong. Like what she normally does with her intuition, she ignores it and pushes it aside.

As winter approaches, Carrie and George go skiing and Carrie finds out that George is good friends with Sebastian's sister. This ultimately leads George to find out about Carrie and Sebastian's relationship. George is deeply hurt and tells Carrie how he knows Sebastian and his dark ways. He tells her to watch out for him and to call him when he breaks up with her. This angers Carrie and she says goodbye, hoping to never see George again.

Already stressed from her straining relationship with Sebastian and no longer relationship with George, Carrie doesn't do so well at her swim meet. She blows it off, and after goes to change back into her clothes but cannot find them anywhere. She tells Lali and Sebastian who were with her, about Donna taking her clothes. They just laugh. This angers Carrie and at home she vents to her sister how she can't stand how Lali and Sebastian are such great friends. She vents how she can't go out with Sebastian anymore without Lali tagging along, and how she hates how Donna LaDonna won't leave her alone and stop playing all these pranks on her. Her sister's only response is how Lali is trying to steal Sebastian away and Carrie finally admits to herself that this might be happening in front of her own eyes.

The next weekend, a dance takes place and everyone goes. The Mouse brings her boyfriend Danny, Maggie and Peter go, and Carrie and Sebastian go. At the dance, Carrie can't stop thinking about Lali and Sebastian, but soon sees Sebastian with another girl-Donna LaDonna. Furious, Carrie lets her emotions get the better of her and she storms up to him. Sebastian clearly sees nothing wrong and this only infuriates Carrie more. All her friends support her and ask if they're gonna break up. Carrie cannot answer this but Lali tells her she'll take care of it.

A few weeks later, all attend a concert. Carrie forgave Sebastian but was still suspicious of Lali and him. While having fun at the concert, Carrie gets on stage much to the dislike of Sebastian. Carrie leaves shortly after due to curfew but Lali and Sebastian stay. Feeling guilty and wanting to apologize about getting on stage, she goes back in to find him. Carrie think he might have left but sees him kissing Lali. Again, Carrie is furious and yells at them. Lali tells Carrie they've been dating for a while and Carrie is both mad and sorry for what happened.

The next few weeks are an emotional roller coaster for Carrie. Having to deal with the loss of both Sebastian and Lali, she hates herself for not doing something sooner. She also finds out it was Lali playing a lot of the pranks and not Donna LaDonna. Carrie focuses on other aspects of her life, like getting into Brown and writing for the paper. She gets into Brown and decides to not care about high school anymore, and decides to go out on a limb and write pieces for the newspaper, targeting students and exposing them. She also takes a photography class to distract herself from her drama. But she finds more drama when Donna LaDonna is forced to be her partner. She tells Carrie she hates her not for stealing Sebastian, but because she's a snob. Carrie is stunned by this and realizes Donna might not be so bad. They eventually becomes friends and Donna says she should meet her cousin in New York.

As senior year ends, Carrie becomes happier. She gets into the summer writing program after reapplying. She makes up with George. As graduation approaches, she decides to leave the past behind her and make up with everyone, including Lali and Sebastian. Lali tells her they broke up after she caught him kissing her sister. Carrie laughs and comes to the revelation that no one can hurt you anymore if you forgave them.

As Carrie leaves for New York for the summer program, she loses her money and address of the program, and must call the only person's number she has- Donna's cousin. The story ends with Carrie calling and saying "Hello, is this Samantha Jones?"

Characters[edit]

Carrie[edit]

Carrie Bradshaw – The protagonist of the novel.

Sebastian Kydd is Carrie's extremely pretty on-off boyfriend

Donna LaDonna[edit]

The most popular girl in Carrie's high school, and an aspiring model.

George Carter[edit]

Carrie's handsome suitor who grew up in New York City, and is a student at Brown.

Walt[edit]

Walt is Carrie's other best friend.

Lali[edit]

Carrie's Best Friend

Maggie[edit]

Walt's sexually active ex-girlfriend and a best friend of Carrie's.

Roberta Castells (a.k.a. " Mouse" )[edit]

One of Carrie's closest friends.

Peter Arnold[edit]

He's described by Carrie as "the second-smartest boy in our class and kind of a jerk."

Dorrit Bradshaw[edit]

Carrie's younger sister, who constantly rebelled throughout much of the novel, especially since Dorrit had a habit of stealing their possessions and is jealous of the relationship that Carrie and her father share. She has her first kiss with Miller, she also loses her virginity to him. He might be much older, but she does say she really loves him and he really loves her.

Reception[edit]

Reviews of the book have been generally favorable. Joel Ryan of the Los Angeles Times gave a positive review, calling the novel "an addictive, ingenious origin story" while asserting that the brilliance of the book is that "sex is really beside the point."[1] MTV's Hollywood Crush also gave a positive review saying, "All that plot is great and keeps you glued to the page until the end, but what sticks with you later are Carrie's internal musings."

Television adaptation[edit]

In September 2011, it was officially announced that The CW network was moving forward with a television series as a prequel to the original series, based on The Carrie Diaries. The project was developed by Gossip Girl producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Former Sex and the City writer Amy B. Harris is tapped to pen the adaptation.[2] On January 18, 2012, The CW network ordered a pilot of The Carrie Diaries. The project will continue to be helmed by executive producers Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Candace Bushnell.[3]

On February 15, 2012, the series' first role was cast when Stefania Owen landed the part of Carrie Bradshaw’s 14-year-old sister Dorrit.[4] On February 27, 2012 it was announced that AnnaSophia Robb had won the role of the young Carrie Bradshaw.[5]

The series was formally picked up by The CW on May 11, 2012, and premiered on January 14, 2013.[6]

It was renewed for a second season on May 9, 2013.[7]

It was canceled on May 8, 2014.[8]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ryan, Joal (May 15, 2010). "Book review: 'The Carrie Diaries' by Candace Bushnell". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2011). "'The Carrie Diaries' Now Officially At CW With 'Gossip Girl' Producers On Board". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hibberd, James (January 18, 2012). "'CW Orders 'Sex and the City' Prequel Pilot, More". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ Hibberd, James (February 15, 2012). "'Carrie Diaries' casting scoop: Bradshaw's sister is... -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (February 27, 2012). "AnnaSophia Robb lands role as young Carrie Bradshaw". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "LA Times article on The Carrie Diaries". Los Angeles Times. May 11, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 9, 2013). "'Nikita' Renewed For A Short (Final?) 4th Season & 'The Carrie Diaries' Renewed For 2nd Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2014). "'Carrie Diaries', 'Tomorrow People' & 'Star-Crossed' Cancelled by The CW". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2014.