Summer and The City Book Review

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PSA // Spoilers below for The Carrie Diaries & Summer and the City

So if you know me you’ll know that I love The Carrie Diaries. I binged watch the TV show a year and a half ago and I think I watched two seasons in two days. I was addicted. So addicted I remember changing all my social media icons to pictures of AnnaSophia Robb and changing all my bios to KyddShaw quotes. Yeah I went major ‘omg the feels!’ fangirl mode.

I knew the series was cancelled before I’d even started it, I still wanted to watch it but I didn’t expect just how in love with the show I would become. So when it got cancelled I searched for other material. I ordered both The Carrie Diaries and Summer and the City, and stuck with reading fanfiction till they arrived to get my TCD fix. I already reviewed The Carrie Diaries a year or so ago, so I won’t be going back into that now but you can check that review out here, if you wish.

Now enough rambling, onto the actual review. The beginning felt a little dry and I wasn’t in to it very much, mostly because I was still very much in love with the world and characters from The Carrie Diaries and apart from Carrie herself  everything was different. She was in a different setting and non of the other characters from the first book were featured in and never mentioned except once or twice. I got that they needed Carrie’s life to transfer over from what we see in The Carrie Diaries to what we see in Sex and the City but I thought it was bit rushed.

However a few chapters in some old characters started to show up and things changed and got a bit better.

I have to say I’ve never seen Sex and the City (I watched both movies with my mum when I was young but I don’t remember them very well) or read the book so I can’t comment on Carrie’s character in those stories but in this story I relate to Carrie’s character a lot.
There’s just to so much about her that I can relate to. For one Carrie’s friends changing after leaving school and becoming obsessed with sex was one thing, being the last one of your friends to fall in love is another and just Carrie’s general view towards the world. her love for vintage fashion and writing is something I can relate to a lot, as well as her general grown up nature which is mistaken as ‘stuck up’ by others in the story. I also hope to one day get out my home town, I’m not sure where exactly I want to go but I know I don’t want to stay here, and Carrie spends a lot of time talking about how she loves New York and she talks about how returning to her home town made her feel like a failure. And I have to say, in a way I kind of get that feeling sometimes too, maybe not as intensely but I understand it.

There’s one short scene in particularly where Maggie is telling Carrie she’ll be staying at Ryan’s apartment:

C – “What about his fiancée?”
M – “he said he thinks she’s cheating.”
C – “So that makes it okay?”
M – “Jesus, Carrie. What’s your problem? You’re so uptight.”

It just struck me as a conversation I’ve had several times with ‘old friends’ who believe it’s okay to cheat and date multiple people at once, or have sex with any and all their guys friends. Now I really don’t have much of a problem with people having sex with whoever they went (as long as there is mutual consent of course) and I am the first to say I am 100% against slut shamming women, but when you’re in a friendship group where almost everyone has slept with everyone (apart from me of course) things tend to get awkward. That and I’ve also been looked down and even made fun of by ‘friends’ because I don’t have the same… let’s say ‘sex tendency’s’ as them.
As I was saying earlier I didn’t like how many characters were gone from the first story. Most of the characters from TCD, with the exception of Maggie and Walt were only ever mentioned, I’d say 3 or 4 times throughout the book, and only ever in a throwaway thought. Maggie, Walt, Donna LaDona, Carrie’s sisters and her Dad were the only characters from the first book to make an actual appearance in the book, with Maggie and Carrie’s Dad being the only characters to feature in more than one chapter. I was really disappointed in this as I was looking forward to seeing Maggie (before she turned into a bitch), Walt and Mouse again, and I was even slightly disappointed Sebastian and Lali weren’t in it, as even though they were awful to Carrie in the first book, I really wanted Carrie to get some revenge or at least rub her happiness in the faces. But the fact most of these characters or really any of the plot from the first book weren’t mentioned at all kind of peeved me off for I’d say the first half of the book or so.

Now ignoring what the book doesn’t have. In this book we get to meet Miranda and Samantha. Samantha annoyed me slightly at times but I like the way she looks after Carrie and let’s her live with her despite the fact they barely know each other. Miranda was also an interesting character that I was surprised I actually liked a lot. I’m almost always more drawn to more Samantha like characters and was surprised to find myself liking Miranda more than her in this book, although I can’t quite put my finger on why.
I didn’t pay much attention to Carrie’s romantic relationship’s in the book. Mostly because I was still caught up with Kyddshaw but also because I really didn’t feel much chemistry with any of the male characters. I did like the fact she ended up with Capote (or not? I wasn’t quite clear on the ending), although I again didn’t feel any chemistry around them or really like them at all until they actually got together. Although I will admit I did like the scene where he helped her out of the broken lift earlier in the book.
There isn’t really a main plot. There no quest or goal the characters are trying to reach for, it’s simply reading about Carrie’s life and everything she’s doing. But I like it. It feels like you’re just reading a mix between a gossip magazine about a celebrity and the diary of an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. I think if you’re a teen reaching out about to enter her ‘adult’ (groan) years, this is a great read.

In conclusion this book has its ups and downs, overall I did like the book, everything in it was great, but there were things missing (characters from TCD) that made the first half kind of meh for me. But overall it was a good book, not as good as the first one (which remains to be one of my favourite novels ever) but still amazing and definitely worth a read.

It may not be in my top 10 books but it’s definitely in my top 50.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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