Candace Bushnell has done it again. In another true-to-life novel about Carrie Bradshaw’s adventures in New York City, Bushnell captures the ferocity, fashion faux pas, and love-stricken grief of the beloved character that made us fall head-over-heels for Sex and the City.
Summer and the City is the sequel to The Carrie Diaries, a novel about Bradshaw’s tumultuous high school life. Between the petty drama, boyfriend stealers, and snotty sisters, readers finally get the chance to see Bradshaw, pre-fabulous.
But before we see her make a name for herself in the Big Apple, we have to see Bradshaw fall. We see her at her very best in both the TV series and Blockbuster hits, but in this story, she is so far from glamorous. Rocking scrubs and over-sized boots, Bradshaw makes mistake after mistake which provides comic relief for an otherwise disappointing tale about a girl who can’t seem to survive in the bright lights.
While Sex and the City may seem out of our reach – with the nightly cocktails, sleek fashion, and seemingly easy work life – Summer and the City brings us back to reality. Bushnell portrays the not-so awesome aspects of life in the city and the struggle Bradshaw endured in order to be able to slip her feet into a shiny new pair of Manolos.
Instead of viewing Ms. Carrie Bradshaw as nothing more than a C-List celebrity in her world, an entirely different light is shed. We can no longer be envious of her adoring relationship with Big. We’re now happy for her after we’ve seen the heartbreak she’s been through. And we can’t even feel envy when we see how wonderful her “job” is. Bradshaw worked her size-2 booty off to get her writing gig.
Summer and the City brings to life a character that was once vapid, yet easily adored. Everything seems to come easy to Bradshaw, but Bushnell sets the record straight. She is a character with a past – a past that we can’t help but relate to and wish our futures looked as bright.
The novel keeps you turning the page as you wonder when she’ll meet her next best friend. Samantha is there from the start, but once Carrie bumps into Miranda, you wonder how their relationship will evolve. And as they deal with their ups and downs, you’re left thinking about when Charlotte will show her face.
Though the book does leave you confused at times, wondering if the pieces actually make sense considering the information you’ve already been given through the series, it still keeps you engaged. As you learn more about Bradshaw’s past, you end up loving her even more.
Carrie Bradshaw is no longer just a pretty face with awesome shoes and voluminous hair. She’s a chick who wanted to make it – and she did. With the perfect balance of Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, Bradshaw came to be. Which further reinforces Bushnell’s theme – our best friends are our everything. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.
Summer and the City
is a book every trendy and non-trendy gal alike should read. Pick it up today and tack it on to your reading list. You’ll breeze through the pages but you won’t be unsatisfied. Rather, you’ll be Carrie-fied.
♥AUTHOR: CHELSEA TIRRELL