5 books set in New York City to awaken your inner Carrie Bradshaw

I remember watching episode after episode of Sex and the City with my friend and housemate, when we were in college. We’d just moved to a big city ourselves, and were trying to figure out life, and relationships, and what it was that we ourselves wanted.

I believe we’re still pretty much the same – we will certainly try to figure all these things out until the day we die -, but Sex and the City opened the doors to new perspectives on love, friendships, self confidence and unexpected outfits. It also made me fall in love with New York City.

I never read the Sex and the City books (are they any good?), but I love when a story is set in NYC. Fiction or reality, I love reading about a city I haven’t met yet, and that’s why I chose five books set in the Big Apple for the Sex and the City fans. I haven’t read two of them yet (one is on it’s way to my house right now), but I will.

City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I just finished reading this book, and I loved how Gilbert described New York in the 40s and 50s. City of Girls tells the story of Vivian Morris, a nineteen-year-old who moves to New York City to live with her aunt, after being kicked out of Vassar College. Vivian starts making costumes for her aunt’s theater company, and that’s when she starts hanging out with showgirls, falling in love with charismatic actors, and well, making mistakes she will regret for a long time. I wouldn’t say this is a laugh out loud chicklit, if that’s what you’re looking for; it’s more like a coming-of-age love story. It was pretty fun, nonetheless, as you could almost see yourself amidst the drama and the decadence of the city during those decades.

Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler

I read this book a few years ago, and I bought it because I couldn’t resist the beautiful cover. It’s another coming-of-age story about twenty-two-year-old Tess, who arrives in New York City and finds a job as a backwaiter at this fancy restaurant. She is introduced to great wines and bars and cocaine, and eventually finds herself in a love triangle. It was very interesting to read about the stress of working in the restaurant industry, and to get a glimpse of how life is for many young people who arrive in the city with no money or connections. I remember this book being quite brutal and dark, but very interesting.

The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger

If you love chicklit, fashion or New York City, this book is an absolute must-read. I love the movie and I loved the book even more. I’m sure everybody knows the story, but The Devil Wears Prada is about Andy, a small-town girl who lands a job in NYC as the assistant of Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine. Andy was far from being a fashionista when she started, and now she’s living a nightmare, dealing with a terrible boss, impossible tasks and the side-eyes from all the beautiful, skinny girls who populate the fashion industry. It’s just plain, good old fun. The second book, Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, is pretty good too.

Park Avenue Summer, by Renee Rosen

Ok, this is the book that it’s on its way, and I can’t wait to read it! It tells the story of Alice Weiss, who arrives in New York City in the 60s to work for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine. People are resigning on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote Sex and the Single Girl, a scandalous bestselling book. Eventually, people start pulling Alice into the scheme to sabotage her boss, but she remains loyal and determined to help Helen succeed. I don’t know, this just sounds like a vintage version of The Devil Wears Prada, and I’m super excited to read it.

Nine Women, One Dress, by Jane L. Rosen

This is the story of nine women living in New York City: Natalie, a Bloomingdale’s salesgirl mooning over her ex-boyfriend; Felicia, who’s been in love with her married boss for twenty years; Andrea, a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands; a young model from rural Georgia; a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut; an overachieving but unemployed Brown grad faking a fabulous life on social media, and a few other characters in supporting roles. Somehow, her lives are about to change thanks to a little black dress everyone wants to get their hands on this season. I don’t know how it happens or why, but this book sounds really fun.

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