Before she became THE Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, she was a small town girl from Castlebury, dreaming of becoming a writer someday.

But somehow she has to get through her senior year in high school without doing anything too drastic, or without damaging her chances for the future she has imagined.

As the oldest of three motherless daughters struggling to fill the empty place in their lives, Carrie also has to figure out how to “train” her father to be the parent he never had to be before their mother died.

The Carrie Diaries is full of all the stuff of teenage angst: competitive girls, snooty girls, boys who are hot, and boys who are not. In the middle of the mess is friendship and figuring out who is loyal and who will do the unforgivable. Somehow Carrie manages to get through all of the havoc and use her life experiences in unexpected ways through her writing.

I felt almost like a teenager again, re-experiencing the devastation of first love and first betrayal along with Carrie. And then, in the end, as Carrie takes off for her summer in New York, to a much-coveted writing program, the reader catches a glimpse of what lies ahead for her. A predictable, yet engaging story. Four stars.