OurBookClub


Bodice Rippers & Erotica Book Reviews: Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell has her own website where you can find out more information on her books. You can also follow Candace on Facebook and keep up to date via her newsletter.


Summer and the City
One Fifth Avenue
The Carrie Diaries
Trading Up
Sex and the City

Summer and The City by Candace BushnellBook Cover of Summer And The City by Candace Bushnell

Read by Tracy June 2011

Tracy recommends for a lighthearted and entertaining read that takes you back to the SATC days

This is the prequel to Sex and the City, which subsequently went on to spawn a tv series and two films (so far) and is also the sequel to The Carrie Diaries.

In Summer And The City, Carrie has left her home town and is settling into New York and her writing course. We are introduced to Miranda who is protesting against pornography outside of Sacs and also into the early life of Samantha who is preparing for her wedding into a very wealthy family. Carrie has started dating Bernard who is an established playwright and who Carrie decides to emulate and writes her own play. She showcases the play in her writing class to some interest and good comments from her teacher and fellow classmates, so she decides to hold a play reading at an acquaintances loft space. Of course between agreeing to hold the reading and the actual reading, Miranada manages to lost half of the original play and Carrie must reproduce as closely as possible the play in only three days and as we know Carrie isn't particularly good at focusing and still manages to attend parties, dinners and meet people. The play reading turns out to be a debacle with Carrie left feeling mortified and embarrassed culminating in her decision to finally claim her place at Brown instead of staying in New York. However, as the night is her eighteenth birthday she becomes extremely drunk and wants her boyfriend to finally have sex with her so she can lose her virginity, he totally freaks at the thought she is only 18 and when she leaves (along with a new Chanel handbag), she finds solace with Capote and things take a different route. After getting on the train a phone call changes history and Carrie has to make a very big decision. This was a great book and I devoured it in a day. I loved the last sequence where Carrie meets a girl on the train reading a bridal magazine - the girl isn't getting married yet, but hopes to and believes that New York is where you find love, and of course this girl turns out to be Charlotte.

Buy Now

Back to top


One Fifth Avenue by Candace BushnellBook Cover of One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

Read by Tracy January 2011

Tracy recommends as a light beach read

Candace Bushnell is described as one of the most important social commentators of today as she describes New York City and the lives of women. One Fifth Avenue is a much sought after address, not somewhere you can just move into, but almost invited to enter the prestigious art deco building. However, as things are changing, One Fifth Avenue is also having to change with new and old money starting to mingle, but money aside what the resident really want is power and social prominence not matter how they get it. This opens the door for sexual politics, real estate theft and marriages that have long lost their gloss.

Buy Now

Back to top


The Carrie Diaries by Candace BushnellBook Cover of The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Read by Tracy July 2010

Tracy recommends for a lighthearted and entertaining read that takes you back to the SATC days

This is the prequel to the Sex and the City book, tv series and films - and I am a huge fan of the tv show, so this book has to live up to a lot.  We are taken into the life of the teenage Carrie Bradshaw as she navigates peer pressure and the opposite sex. I had a major problem with this book - everything feels too neatly packaged to make it fit with the rest of the series and you do get the impression it was written to tie in with the movie and to top up Bushnells' bank balance. We are also introduced into Carries' initial forays into fashion through her custom monogrammed handbag (mainly thanks to her sisters vandalism), stoles, hats and shoes all of which are inspired by her mother who sadly passed away when Carrie was much younger. Her death left Carrie and her two sisters in the care of their scientist father who is not really sure how to deal with their antics. In the book we are also introduced to her arrival in New York with Samantha Jones's phone number in her pocket (this obviously opens a door for another prequel and how she met Miranda and Charlotte). All this said the book is lighthearted and entertaining and made me miss the TV show which was such a stable in my life - time for a cosmopolitan I think.

Click here for your first look at the young Carrie Bradshaw, star of the currently in production TV show adaptation of Candace Bushnell's The Carrie Diaries. Telling the story of Carrie's coming of age in the 1980s as she explores high school, sex and fashion in the bright lights and big city of Manhatten, this is sure to be a hit for fans of the original Sex and the City TV series!

Buy Now

Back to top


Trading Up by Candace BushnellBook Cover of Trading Up by Candace Bushnell

Read by Tracy 2009

Tracy recommends that you avoid

Yep, Candace Bushnell gave us Sex and the City which was fantastic (see review below), so I had high hopes for this book and was so disappointed. The book is a tawdry peek into the lives of the rich and famous and lacks originality. It seems to have been written to meet a publishers requirements. The book lacks the wit and inventiveness of Sex and the City and I was unable to feel anything about the characters other than they need to get a grip on reality. I spent most of the book hoping for something to happen that would at least give the characters a veneer or humanity, but alas it wasn't to be. The chick-lit (bodice rippers) market is flooded with books that are better than this.

Buy Now

Back to top


Sex and the City by Candace BushnellBook Cover of Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

Read by Natalie & Tracy 2005

Natalie and Tracy recommend this is good reading, but the TV show is better.

This is the start of what became a landmark TV series, the original story of Carrie and Mr Big, an insiders' look at dating in New York City and all the fun that goes with that. While this is just the beginning, it is already very different to the TV series that came from it. At the end of the book, Carrie ends up with Mr Big, yet for those of us who are fans of the show, we all know it is not that easy! The book is fun, but I for one much prefer the TV series and the movie - although they better be nicer to Mr Big when the second movie hits Australian screens in June 2010. And thankfully they were, who despite all of Carrie's annoying adventures still presented her with a gorgeous black diamond engagement ring - yes please! Actually, talking about the TV series and movies, for the record, Natalie is happy Carrie ends up with Mr Big, while Tracy thinks Aiden was a much better pick, see what we mean about different opinions!

Candace Bushnell started writing the Sex and the City newspaper column in 1994 which was the basis for the 1998 HBO TV series. It is rumoured that the character of Carrie is based on Bushnell.

Buy Now

Back to top