The Carrie Diaries Book Essay

This article is about the book. For the television series, see The Carrie Diaries (TV series).

The Carrie Diaries is a young adult novel, the first in a series of the same name by American author Candace Bushnell. The series is a prequel to Bushnell's 1997 collection Sex and the City, and follows the character of Carrie Bradshaw during her senior year of high school during the early 1980s and part of her life in New York City working as a writer. The Los Angeles Times described it as "[a]n addictive, ingenious origin story."[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The Carrie Diaries focuses on Carrie Bradshaw, a high-school student who lives in Castleberry, Connecticut. Carrie is followed through high-school starting her junior year, continuing through the summer, and ending at senior year graduation. Carrie, her friends, and family are shown going through many different trials during this time.

Carrie handles these well, including having a few boyfriends along the way. She and her dad have disagreements but do not come to blows until the end of the book. Carrie's final decision to not attend Brown University contributes to her living with her eventual lifelong friend Samantha Jones. This sets up Carrie as the precedent of a main character in Sex and the City.


  • Carrie Bradshaw: The protagonist of the novel. She is an aspiring writer who dreams of moving to New York City.
  • Sebastian Kydd: The handsome, mysterious new kid at school and the love interest of Carrie.
  • Donna LaDonna: The school's most popular girl and an aspiring model. She is followed around by two minions, the Jens.
  • Lali Kandesie: Carrie's childhood best friend who later becomes her "frenemy".
  • Maggie Stevenson: One of Carrie's best friends and Walt's sexually active ex-girlfriend.
  • Roberta "The Mouse" Castells: One of Carrie's best friends and the smartest girl in school.
  • Walt: One of Carrie's best friends, who dates Maggie before coming out as gay.
  • Peter Arnold: One of Maggie's boyfriends, described by Carrie as "the second-smartest boy in our class and kind of a jerk". He is the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Nutmeg, which Carrie later writes for.
  • George Carter: Carrie's handsome suitor from New York City and a student at Brown University.
  • Dorrit Bradshaw: Carrie's rebellious younger sister.
  • Missy Bradshaw: Carrie's middle sister.


The Carrie Diaries received generally favorable reviews. Joel Ryan of the Los Angeles Times gave the novel a positive review, calling it "[a]n addictive, ingenious origin story", while asserting that the brilliance of the book is that "sex is really beside the point."[1] Sabrina Rojas Weiss of MTV's Hollywood Crush also gave it a positive review, stating, "All that plot is great and keeps you glued to the page until the end, but what sticks with you later are Carrie's internal musings."[2] Meeta Agrawal of Entertainment Weekly rated the book A− and wrote, "It would have been easy to write a coming-of-age story about Carrie Bradshaw that ham-fistedly foreshadows everything fans of the franchise know will come to pass. But Bushnell nails something harder: telling another chapter in the story of a cherished character that stands on its own."[3]

Television adaptation[edit]

Main article: The Carrie Diaries (TV series)

In September 2011, it was officially announced that The CW was moving forward with a television series as a prequel to the original series, based on The Carrie Diaries. The project was developed by Gossip Girl producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Former Sex and the City writer Amy B. Harris was tapped to pen the adaptation.[4] On January 18, 2012, The CW network ordered a pilot of The Carrie Diaries. The project was helmed by executive producers Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein, and Bushnell.[5]

On February 15, 2012, the series' first role was cast when Stefania Owen landed the part of Carrie Bradshaw's 14-year-old sister Dorrit.[6] On February 27, 2012, it was announced that AnnaSophia Robb had won the role of the young Carrie.[7]

The series was formally picked up by The CW on May 11, 2012, and premiered on January 14, 2013.[8] It was renewed for a second season on May 9, 2013.[9] It was canceled on May 8, 2014.[10]


  1. ^ abRyan, Joal (May 15, 2010). "Book review: 'The Carrie Diaries' by Candace Bushnell". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Media. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  2. ^Weiss, Sabrina Rojas (April 27, 2010). "'The Carrie Diaries' Review: We See Big Things In Your Future, Carrie Bradshaw". Hollywood Crush. Viacom. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  3. ^Agrawal, Meeta (April 14, 2010). "The Carrie Diaries". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  4. ^Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2011). "'The Carrie Diaries' Now Officially At CW With 'Gossip Girl' Producers On Board". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  5. ^Hibberd, James (January 18, 2012). "'CW Orders 'Sex and the City' Prequel Pilot, More". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  6. ^Hibberd, James (February 15, 2012). "'Carrie Diaries' casting scoop: Bradshaw's sister is... -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  7. ^Oldenburg, Ann (February 27, 2012). "AnnaSophia Robb lands role as young Carrie Bradshaw". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^"LA Times article on The Carrie Diaries". Los Angeles Times. May 11, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  9. ^Kondolojy, Amanda (May 9, 2013). "'Nikita' Renewed For A Short (Final?) 4th Season & 'The Carrie Diaries' Renewed For 2nd Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  10. ^Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2014). "'Carrie Diaries', 'Tomorrow People' & 'Star-Crossed' Cancelled by The CW". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]

The Carrie Diaries is the prequel to Sex in the City, both books written by Candace Bushnell. Carrie Bradshaw is a 17-year-old girl from the 1980s who lives with her widowed father who is a lawyer, and her two sisters and who aspires to greater things. Living in a small town, she soon realizes that she is meant to do greater things and that she will not achieve her dreams of becoming a successful writer in the suburbs. Despite her father's reluctance to let Carrie pursue her dreams to study Journalism, she applies to a summer writing program in New York but doesn't get in. She also applies to Brown to satisfy his father's goals for her and in order to have a plan B should things not work out as planned. But her failed acceptance does not discourage her: she will become a writer no matter what.
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In addition to stressing about her future, Carrie stresses over the fact that she is the only one in her group of friends who seemingly still hasn't lost her virginity and she wonders whether she will lose it before heading off upon graduation from high school. Carrie meets a new boy at her school, Sebastian - a handsome young man who is incredibly popular with the ladies. Carrie falls in love with him and he also shows interest in her. He eventually asks her out and they become a couple. At the same time, having been to an interview at Brown in New York, following her application, Carrie met a student named George who also showed great interest in her. They remain in touch, become close friends and she starts to like him as well. The fact that he is also willing to help Carrie get into a writing program makes her like him even more. She nevertheless stays with Sebastian but their relationship weakens until Carrie learns that her best friend Lali has been dating Sebastian for a while. Carrie then refuses to stay friends with both Lali and Sebastian and become good friend with a girl who had previously been Carrie's competition for Sebastian's heart: Donna LaDonna. Carrie learns that she got into Brown and into her writing program as well - in which she got in upon reapplying. Carrie is now ready to leave her past behind and move to New York - even though she hasn't lost her virginity - and her new friend Donna tells Carrie that her cousin lives there and that she should meet her upon her arrival. When in New York, Carrie calls Donna's cousin and her name turns out to be Samantha Jones, who is going to become one of her greatest friends.

Surrounded by her four best friends Maggie, Lali, Roberta and Walt, this book takes the readers throughout the ups and downs and lives of high school students wherein boyfriends, betrayals, jealousy, popularity and competition predominate.

Best part of story, including ending: I love this book because I am a long-time fan of the Sex and the City series. This book offers a great insight with respect to who was Carrie Bradshaw before she became this famous Manhattan columnist.

Best scene in story: The very last scene when she calls Donna's cousin and discovers her name is Samantha Jones. Knowing the Sex and the City series, this is the part where it all made sense and where I could see the greatest link between this prequel, the book titled "Sex and the City" and the Sex and the City series.

Opinion about the main character: I like Carrie's willingness to leave all behind in order to make her dreams come true.

Chapter Analysis of The Carrie Diaries

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   YesAge group of kid(s) in story:    -   high schoolLoving/sexing?    -   guy chasing

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 ()

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Carrie Diaries

Candace Bushnell BooksNote: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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