Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NYC in the 1980's!

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel
It's tough to be young in the city... the city. But for Carrie Bradshaw there is a pull from New York City calling to her like nothing else ever has. She wants to be a writer and has one chance, a mere two months, to convince everyone she should stay in the city rather than go to Brown in the fall. In Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel, by Candace Bushnell, we finally get to see how Carrie's first summer in the big city makes her a New Yorker permanently.

Carrie is torn between the other kids in her writing class and the tantalizing life of one Ms. Samantha Jones. The kids in her class are a mix of New York savvy college kids who know their way around the restaurants and clubs and kids from out of town who still can't use the subway, but they are all her age, experiencing the same things she is. Samantha takes Carrie in when her landlady kicks her out and she has no where to go. She also takes Carrie out to her usual haunts, introducing her to New York's most important up and comers. When Carrie returns to her friends from class telling them how she is dating Bernard Singer, the most coveted new playwright on Broadway, and hung out with a bevy of models, fashion designers, writers, and artists, the others are clearly impressed.

But Carrie can't get herself to really write. When she finds out Bernard is recently divorced, she is inspired to write a play about a husband and wife. As she continues working on her play, she comes to some conclusions about herself and the others around her. First, some people just aren't cut out to survive NYC. Also, some people may seem like talented artists when they are really silly fools who are just as miserable as everyone else (just with better tables in restaurants). And finally, Carrie Bradshaw has changed. Everything she does and thinks now is clearly through New York City tinted glasses. When she returns home or a friend comes to visit her, they clearly know she has changed. Now all she has to do is realize it. But will she, before she has to go to Brown? I bet you already know the answer!

This sequel was much better than the first book for me because I got a chance to see Carrie in NYC, but it still wasn't a phenomenal book. it was entertaining and interesting, but only because I loved the show on HBO. I think if I gave these books to a kids who had never seen the show, they might quickly grow bored with the story. But knowing who Samantha and Miranda become made this much more interesting for me. This series might just be a YA series meant for fans and only fans.

There is quite a lot of sex in the story, but none of it is overly graphic or specific. Instead, it is mostly everyone talking about sex and virginity as opposed to Bushnell "showing" it. Still I probably wouldn't give this to a younger high school student, more for the slowness of the story than the sexual content. I am not sure if this is it for the Carrie Diaries, but if there is more, I will most likely read it. I won't drop everything to read it, but I will get to it eventually.

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