Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
Published April 26, 2011
I really, really enjoyed the first book in Carrie’s Diaries and it was entertaining to see how Carrie navigated NYC so I was quite happy to pick up this book and read about her new adventure in the city. However, now that I also live in NYC, there were a lot of things about the book that I felt were extremely unlikely and unrealistic. I still enjoyed reading about Carrie and her problems/adventures but I didn’t enjoy it as much when I didn’t live in the city and didn’t know the realities of the city.
Nonetheless, I still enjoyed Carrie and her antics. She was certainly a headstrong young girl with big dreams and high expectations who never gave up despite her numerous not-so-great situations. She was easy to relate to because she was very realistic to what a young woman faces when dealing with her daunting future. Her worries and questions relate to everyone at any age – what will the future hold? How can I succeed? What should I do with my life? Where to go and accomplish what I want? Will I even accomplish my dream? Questions like these simply made Carrie easy to understand. However, I thought she was also quite naïve especially in her “relationship” with that famous writer (I forget his name – that’s how unimportant he was to me). She was extremely whiny in that so-called relationship and it really showed. The guy obviously was just with her because she was young and innocent and he was in his mid-thirties and horny and had just divorced his wife. I don’t know - that relationship was doomed to fail in my opinion. Not only that, but I found her more demanding and more obnoxious than when she was in high school. There was a lot of me, me, me involved with this book that I did not appreciate.
At the same time, a lot of her run-ins with famous authors, scriptwriters, etc. were highly unrealistic. I have lived in NYC for about half a year, worked in the city for almost a year and have yet to meet any famous authors and whatnot. It was just absurd to read about Carrie randomly being invited to parties where famous people were at and how everyone just happened to know her when she basically just moved to NYC for the summer. I don’t know, maybe I’m jealous of her somewhat stardom lifestyle but I just find it unlikely.
One thing I did really enjoy about the book was the fact that it was set in the 80s – I thought that was quite fun. It was entertaining to read what life was like in the 80s especially with that incident when Carrie’s friend lost part of her manuscript for the play and she had to unsuccessfully hunt down her professor who had the only other copy. Something like that would never happen today – we have computers and cloud and everything that there is usually a copy out there, somewhere. There was also a lot of casual drug use which certainly portrayed the 80s nicely.
Overall, decent book but a very disappointing sequel to the first book – I thought the first novel was so much better and much more entertaining. Plus, Carrie seemed nicer and less obnoxious.