The Carrie Diaries chronicles the senior year of high school of one Carrie Bradshaw (best well known from Bushnell's Sex and the City: the book, tv show, and movies), and her quest to find out who she is and where she's going. This is 1980 something, and Carrie's pretty sure she wants to be a writer, but is very sure she doesn't know precisely how to get there. Along the way, Carrie experiences her best friends and their dramas, a father doing his best to raise his three daughters, and a serious relationship with Sebastian Kydd, hot boy in school. In other words, it's not all that different from what many seniors have always experienced. And that's the beauty of the story and its ultimate kinship with the characters created for television: it's something we can all identify with.
This novel is thoroughly young adult in tone, and as such, works very well. There's nothing in it that's not in any number of popular young adult books today, and it is fairly realistic for the times. Told from Carrie's point of view, we are actively engaged in her life and the lives of her friends; there are definite allusions to the Carrie she will become in just a few short years. My biggest distraction was how the story slid around through the 80s (songs played not from the same year, clothing from different seasons worn side by side) but maybe the author did it purposely so that those of us who were seniors in the 80s would recognize something of ourselves in the details.
No, this is not the Carrie backstory we know from the television series, and as a devotee of said series, that is disappointing. But once you put that aside, you are sure to find a story that flows smoothly and speaks to all of us who experienced the highs and lows of senior year. There's enough of the Carrie we think we own in this tale to satisfy anyone, and it's plain ole good fun in the process. Enjoy!