Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

HarperCollins, 2011; 409 pages; ISBN 0061728934
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 stars

For my review of the first book in this series, The Carrie Diaries, read this post. Summer and the City picks up from when Carrie arrives in New York City and is greeted by Samantha, who just happens to be a cousin of Carrie's former frenemy Donna LaDonna from high School. I think I actually loved this one better than the first, but that is probably because it appealed more to my "adult" sensibilities. This time around Carrie is finally able to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer in Manhattan. She begins a writer's course and is taken under the wing of Samantha. At first she rooms with a fellow student and writer in a typical tiny New York apartment where her "room" consists of a small cubicle space cordoned off by dividers. That situation doesn't last long as Carrie gets kicked out by the grumpy landlady. Carrie also meets Miranda, who is immersed in feminist politics and has no qualms about voicing her opinion to everyone. After getting kicked out of her room and board Carrie goes to live with Samantha who at this point has her own place and is actually engaged to someone. The friendship between Carrie, Miranda and Samantha starts to emerge, as well as other relationships Carrie has with her classmates from the writer's course. Early on in the story she also begins a romantic relationship with a well known playwright who is at least 10 years older than her, which sort of hints at how Carrie is constantly attracted to older men in her later years. Actually Carrie's interest in sex and relationships is a lot more evident in this installment of the The Carrie Diaries and although I really enjoyed reading this aspect of her character, I was left wondering if the portions of the book that went into sexual details were appropriate for teen readers. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the writing style and characterizations. Carrie's wit and charm go a long way, and for fans of the TV series, this is a great way to get to know Carrie before she became Carrie Bradshaw, author of the Sex and the City column. I look forward to whatever comes next in young Carrie's teenage/young adult adventures.

Photo: From website

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