Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell Review

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)

Summary: 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 imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City’s most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

Review: The last book in Carrie’s prequel duology was not as good as the first. The Carrie Diaries was a fun book about Carrie’s high school struggles. This one fell short from the first one in a lot of ways. The actual writing was not changed at all. Most of the problems came from Carrie’s decisions in the book that really do not make sense with her character. 

The first major problem that I had was with her love interest. He was not a very likable character and the entire book I hated him. Carrie spends most of her time obsessing over him though, making him a major character. It was really hard to read those scenes. It also seemed kind of strange that she would be with someone like that after just having been through everything with Sebastian – who is maybe mentioned a whole of two times in the entire book. 

The second problem that I had was just with Carrie’s character in general. Her decisions all seem very risky and wild. I understand the thrill that comes with New York City life, but she really doesn’t have her career in mind at all when she comes. She misses so many opportunities in the city to make her dream come true for her friends and boyfriend. There are other ways that the story could have been taken to actually make Carrie a successful writer, someone who really shows talent. Then again, I have never read the original Sex and The City books, so maybe this was done for a reason. I don’t really know. 

That being said, I loved the minor characters. Miranda was such a good compliment to Carrie. L’il’s story was unique and interesting. Samantha really helped Carrie to grow throughout the book. Capote and Ryan were both interesting characters, both together and separate. I like that we got to catch up with Maggie, Walt, and Dorrit, but they do all just fade away. The plot was also a good concept, but got distracted with all the minor characters and Carrie’s bad decisions. 

Overall, this book was fun and a good light read. It was nothing too special, but I do suggest the first book in the series to fans of SATC or The Carrie Diaries television show. 

2.5/5 Stars 

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