Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

Carrie, oh Carrie.

About Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner:
Teen Genius (and Hermit) Carrie Pilby's To-Do List:
1. List 10 things you love (and DO THEM!)
2. Join a club (and TALK TO PEOPLE!)
3. Go on a date (with someone you actually LIKE!)
4. Tell someone you care (your therapist DOESN'T COUNT!)
5. Celebrate New Year's (with OTHER PEOPLE!)

Seriously? Carrie would rather stay in bed than deal with the immoral, sex-obsessed hypocrites who seem to overrun her hometown, New York City. She's sick of trying to be like everybody else. She isn't! But when her own therapist gives her a five-point plan to change her social-outcast status, Carrie takes a hard look at herself—and agrees to try. Suddenly the world doesn't seem so bad. But is prodigy Carrie really going to dumb things down just to fit in?

My two cents

Carrie Pilby is freakishly smart, a teen genius accelerated and studying at Harvard. She's wise beyond her years mentally, but EQ-wise, she needs some help. She decides that since her father pays for her therapist anyway, she may as well get their money's worth. And while she initially scoffs at how stupid some of the little challenges are, Carrie realizes that living her life is just that: putting herself out there so she can experience life for what it can be in all its glory.


Now this was a surprise of a book. My young teenager brought this home, read it (I don't think she finished it) and promptly dismissed it. Based on the cover, I can sort of see what she was expecting; I was expecting some fluffy chick lit.

This is book is so much better than chick lit! It is a novel about getting out of one's comfort zone, of pushing oneself so that one can grow as an individual, of looking beyond oneself and reaching out to others.

Carrie Pilby is hugely likeable with a dorky quality to her. While not everyone will like the fact that she's a teen genius (because aren't we all? *sarcasm* ), I think everyone will be able to relate to feeling like an oddball—it's this quality that makes Carrie so accessible.

I also found this insightful of human nature while oddly funny. And you know how being uncomfortable makes one cringe—there are lots of moments like that in this one. For that reason, it reminds me of Shopgirl by Steve Martin, but this is so much funnier.


While I loved the cover, it gives the vibe of chick lit and I worry that those expecting a fluffy read will shake their head and wonder what happened. On the other hand, those who see this as "mere" chick lit will not likely pick it up and miss out on a really good read.

When I'd finished reading, I sort of blanched at the the thought my daughter had read this. I certainly would not recommend this to younger teenagers because of the depiction of a teacher-student sexual relationship.

Verdict: Don't dismiss this as fluffy chick lot! An insightful and funny read about a teen genius who only wants to fit in, I recommend it for anyone who likes to read about oddball characters with heart.



  1. What a nice post! Funny that you got into it more than your daughter (everyone reacts differently). It's being made into a movie...check it out here! I really enjoy the way your blog is set up, too. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for coming by Caren! And thank goodness I don't listen to my daughter! ;) I'm looking forward to the movie and hope you get someone really good for Carrie.Good luck!

  2. Eeek, I just realized I already told you about the movie! I knew this blog looked familiar. Thanks for following up to the last post! Glad you liked it. I'm hoping to publish another novel someday....hopefully...


© guiltless readingMaira Gall