Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell

2 Star

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. 

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her— to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagine.

 Lydia - 2 Star

Summer in the City picks up right where The Carrie Diaries left off: Carrie Bradshaw landing in New York City for the first time. I looked forward to this novel, having had enjoyed The Carrie Diaries, and wanted to discover how the infamous friendships from Sex in the City began, but unfortunately it just didn’t capture my attention and I actually found it irritating at times.

I found Carrie more needy, demanding and whiny and much less insightful and thoughtful than she was in her high school years.  Needless to say, this made the novel hard to read and it may not even come as a shock to some who never enjoyed Sex in the City in the first place. I’d heard these complaints about Carrie’s character before. Thankfully I had never really noticed and enjoyed the series, especially the other characters, but unfortunately their point of view and stories are stifled by Carrie’s teenage angst. I cringed so many times during this novel that I hope when revisiting the television series this doesn’t return to haunt me. 

It wasn’t just Carrie’s whining that got to me. The plot just didn’t seem to move me to keep reading, although I slugged my way through just to make sure I wouldn’t miss anything.  I didn’t. There were threads back to her old life and family which were touched on, but unfortunately never followed up on again. Her old friends were mostly left behind in Carrie’s self absorbed world which made appreciating the new friendships she was developing in New York difficult.  And I wasn’t too sure about the plausibility of them for the most part. It all felt very surface with no depth so I had a hard time believing that such different personalities along with Samantha’s huge age gap would become sociable without something bringing them all together. Although what do I know?  I’ve never moved to a new city and not known a soul, so who knows?

So, all in all, not really my favourite read.  Maybe I just expected too much, but I doubt I’d read another. I really enjoyed Sex in the City and don’t want to taint it.  The scar of the final movie is still healing.

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