Sex and the City author Candance Bushnell has completely fortified herself from criticism, not by hiding behind her endless stacks of money, but by writing in the voice of a teenager. Is her ability to so expertly express the inanity of being a school-age girl high art or a reflection of limited ability? Either way, it’s a lesson in knowing your strengths. But that doesn’t make the thing any more readable. Its release coinciding with the forthcoming Sex and the City 2 movie, the book — a young-adult novel about Carrie Bradshaw as a young girl — is quite obviously a cash grab. But why would anyone pay for something available for free online? We’ve been through this.
Stylistically, Bushnell’s new book, The Carrie Diaries, excerpted in Sunday’s New York Post, is indistinguishable from the writing of a real life teenager. You could read it, or you could play a little game we’re going to call: A Real Published Book For Sale in Exchange For Money OR Teenage Girl’s Free Blog on the Internet? It’s hard!
The rules are simple. I will provide a few choice passages from The Carrie Diaries alongside the online writing of thoughtful young people, chronicling their day-to-day life for the world to read. You decide which one is worth money and fame.
1. On Boys
a) I’ve had boyfriends before, and frankly, each one was a disappointment. There was nothing horribly wrong with these boys. It was my fault. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to guys.
b) I had a whole emo thing going about stressful stuff that’s going on in my life that results in crying in the bathroom and how I hate being the chick who cries in the bathroom. And then I decided to get over myself.
2. On Writing
a) You know when you have stories going on in your head and they’re just vibrant and alive and happening, and then life happens, and you didn’t write them down and you try to go back for them and they just aren’t there anymore?
b) My mind would be telling me to get up, go home, study, write stories, advance my life, but my body was like a boneless sea creature incapable of movement on land.
3. On Boredom
a) I am aggressively bored. Bored in that way that doing something isn’t doing anything for me. Restless and jittery and flappy hands and shit. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s driving me a little bonkers.
b) Still, I went to Doug’s basketball games and I went by his house after school, even though there were other things I wanted to do more, like read romance novels.
4. On Zits
a) The only thing that was really bad about him was the zits. He didn’t have a lot of them, just one or two that always seemed to be in the middle of their life cycle.
b) I have fights with my friends; I’m traumatised by huge gaping zits. I’m stressed. I’ll break down. I’ll complain. I’ll talk about stupid things. I’m only human.
5. On Insecurity
a) At the dance, I hung around with the Jens and Donna LaDonna and some older girls, who all stood with one leg out to the side, and I stood the same way and pretended I wasn’t intimidated.
b) I think this phenomenon is especially prevalent among teenage girls. Most teenage girls are insecure. It is a Fact. When you are a teenage girl, you are discovering yourself and it’s hard to always be comfortable with who you are.
And scene. However you scored (answers below), you get the idea: if you need your high school fix, troll the blogs. If it’s your little sister/cousin/teenage girlfriend’s birthday, buy her this instead.
ANSWER KEY (Written by Bushnell): 1. a; 2. b; 3. b; 4. a; 5. a