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Carrie Pilby

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Author  Caren Lissner
3.5/5 Goodreads

Originally published  January 2003
Adaptations  Carrie Pilby (2016)
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Similar  Caren Lissner books, Other books

Carrie Pilby is a coming-of-age novel by Caren Lissner, first published by Red Dress Ink in 2003, then re-released on July 1, 2010 for teenage readers under the new imprint Harlequin Teen. It was among the first novels published by Harlequin Enterprises's Red Dress Ink imprint, an imprint created primarily to take advantage of the then-burgeoning "chick lit" phenomenon that included humorous books about young single women like Bridget Jones' Diary.


In its first incarnation, Carrie Pilby was noted in various newspaper articles as one of the smarter and more original novels in the genre. It proved successful, selling more than 50,000 copies. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times referred to the novel as "hilarious" in an August 10, 2003 story. After the chick lit market became saturated, Harlequin stopped publishing novels under the Red Dress Ink imprint in 2009, but Carrie Pilby was selected to be re-published on July 1, 2010 as one of the first books in the new Harlequin Teen line for teenagers. It was republished with a new cover for teens and some of the technology referred to in the novel was slightly modernized (Carrie was now renting DVDs instead of videos). The novel was released in France on June 1, 2010 as one of the first four titles released under the French Harlequin imprint for teens, Darkiss.

Plot summary

Carrie Pilby's eponymous main character is a 19-year-old genius who graduated early from Harvard College and has no idea how to fit in, date, or talk to other people after college. She believes the majority of people in her hometown, New York City, to be sex-obsessed, immoral, and hypocrites. She felt the same way about students who did dangerous things in college, like drinking to excess and having sex, and as a result felt very isolated, although she confesses that she reluctantly lost her virginity to a professor there. Her therapist in New York gives her a five-point plan to test her very black-and-white beliefs, including forcing herself to go on blind dates and attend parties. She meets a cast of characters who challenge her beliefs, and she even becomes attracted to a man whose views she detests. Ultimately, the main character faces this universal coming-of-age question: Which tradeoffs, if any, are acceptable in order to fit in?

Film adaptation

On June 17, 2013, it was announced in Variety that a trio of successful female producers in Hollywood were set to turn the novel into a film, with initial seed money coming from a Kickstarter campaign (see film web page at external links below).

On January 9, 2015, the Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld would play the lead character. A slew of positive articles followed, sometimes noting the all-female production team and female screenwriter during a time when Hollywood movies are usually helmed by men. Steinfeld ultimately dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, and indie film star Bel Powley replaced her. Other big stars have been announced since that time, including Gabriel Byrne, starring as Carrie's father, and Nathan Lane as her therapist. The production staff has been providing movie updates on their Facebook page, listed in external links below.


Carrie Pilby Wikipedia

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