Being a major fan of both the literary and the TV version of Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City, reading a book about the protagonist's teen years and background can be more than a little terrifying. What if it's completely different than what I imagined? Worse, what if it plain sucks? Could it affect my love for the character and the story?
Because honestly, Carrie Bradshaw is an icon. Even if you haven't read Sex and the City, the book, you've definitely seen Sex and the City, the TV show (or the inferior movies). Although there are obvious differences between the two Carries in the show and in the book (Bushnell's Carrie is a bona fide bitch, whereas Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie is rather lovable), both are driven by this extraordinary character. A single 30-something New York columnist, who made her way up battling the odds and the many men in her life.
Enter The Carrie Diaries, a basically YA book that is about Carrie's teen years. In it, she falls in love, betrays and gets betrayed, makes her first best gay friend and dreams of moving to New York. And it's great. So many details about Carrie's past are in this book - and since Carrie is a sample of an entire generation of women, it's actually details about many empowered women of the late '70s. Carrie is raised by a single father and this provides Bushnell with an opportunity to use Carrie's strong mother as a symbol of feminism, which works very well in the book. It is also fun to compare Carrie's teen friends with the ones we know she will eventually make.
All in all, Candace Bushnell has revisited Carrie's past and has done it well. I imagine the book will be spoiled by a movie or a TV show soon enough, but fans of Bushnell's universe will cherish this book on its own. Watch out for that infamously magnificent last page, it almost made me cry!