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Carrie Pilby

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Carrie Pilby

    Carrie Pilby has always been a bit different. She is a child prodigy that graduated college before most of us would even start it. Her hobbies include reading the dictionary, debating morals with herself (and others if she can), and sleeping in her New York apartment. Carrie has a hard time relating to the people around her. She just doesn't get them, and they just don't get her. She's unhappy and alone, although good luck trying to get her to admit it.

    Carrie is a fantastic character. She readily admits that she just doesn't understand people. She knows it's because of her childhood and intelligence. With the help of her psychologist, she sets up a list of things to do by New Year's that will help her open up to other people and relate to them better.

    I was a bit surprised to see this was a Harlequin. There is a bit of romance in the story, but it is definitely on the back burner of the story. At center stage is Carrie and the odd group of people she ends up finding herself involved with. They are all very unique and I could see the good, as well as the bad, in all of them. They were the perfect characters to contrast the various aspects of Carrie's personality.

    There were no fast paced action sequences or sudden turns of events, but the story moved along like a gentle stream that was very relaxing with just enough ripples to keep things interesting. Carrie's struggles were written in a way that anyone could find a piece of her to relate to.


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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    LOL Funny

    Carrie Pilby, a nineteen-year-old prodigy and Harvard graduate, is socially awkward and having a very hard time meeting people that she can befriend or even relate to on a basic level. She consistently looks down on others when they come across as hypocrites based on her moral code or unintelligent based on her search for fellow genius'.

    At first I hard a very hard time getting into the book, because I found Carrie annoying with her constant judgment of others. She has strict ideals of what people should be like and when someone fails to follow her holier-than-thou code, she judges them instantly and puts them in the immoral/hypocrite pile never be spoken to again.

    After you reach the middle of the book, Carrie soars! The one thing that made me continue reading was the list that her psychiatrist, Dr. Petrov, makes for her to complete. I was intrigued by the list and wanted to see If she could overcome her outcast status and finally make some friends.

    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!)

    Following Carrie through the list is the fun part. She finally learns to just try things and that everything isn't truly black and white or good and bad, that there are things she can experience that don't completely break her code. I think the most interesting things to see her try are; joining a church because she feels she can expose them as a cult and she finally gets a temp job where she meets people that accept her for her intelligence and unorthodox behavior.

    In the end, following Carrie through her self discovery is amusing and intriguing. She is witty, sarcastic and charming in her social awkwardness. I think in the end you will fall in love with her quirkiness - I know I did.

    I think Carrie grew up too fast and was too serious about life at a young age, so she did not have the same youthful experiences that others her age have had. Once she finally works on this list, she truly sees what is it like to live. And well, her Dad was right, "You're cursed. Cursed with a mind. Use it. Don't fear it. But don't let all of your thinking destroy you."

    Originally posted at Aurora Reviews

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    "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!)"

    My Rating: 10/10

    Carrie Pilby is a 19 year old genius that graduated from Harvard at 18. Her mother died when she was too young to remember, and her father told her a Big Lie she still couldn't forgive him for.

    Carrie guards herself too much and she doesn't have any friends--after all, being a genius doesn't necessarily mean that you're on top of the social ladder.

    Carrie has a therapist--her father pays her to go to a therapist called Petrov. Petrov is sick of Carrie always closing herself up--so Petrov made the list so Carrie can fit in (or well, attempt her best to). Carrie doesn't really want to--she really thinks it's a waste of time and it's troublesome, but she tried to anyway.

    So Carrie go and gets a job--she's proof reading for the lawyers in NYC. She meets different kind of people. She puts an ad on the Beacon--some kind of magazine that lets people put an ad for people who look for dates.

    Mostly, Carrie considers a lot of people--okay, everyone--as hypocrites. Her father told her that when she skips 3 grades, she'll meet people that are like her in college (This is the Big Lie). She was 14 when she went to Harvard, she didn't know better--despite mathematical theorems, lots of literature, philosophical thoughts and pure curiosity and a very high IQ.

    In Harvard, though, despite her having no friends (that lasts more than a week), she met Harrison, her English Professor. Harrison is smart, different and listens to her. He wasn't creep out by Carrie's constant usage of what others would call out as 'SAT words!' In fact, Harrison was amazed by her.

    Carrie is young and smart. Carrie's learning about life in New York City, and she feels lonely on New Year's, on a tall building with at least 500 people underneath her on Time Square.

    Caren Lissner's Carrie Pilby is sophisticated and full of pure curiosity. It's hilarious and simple--but also different.

    What I love about this book: It's really funny! I've been having the same questions--but mostly feelings--what Carrie had felt. Even though I didn't skip 3 grades or went to Harvard at 14, I could definitely relate to Carrie. She deals with many emotional craziness that passes quite easily because she's been shutting herself out from the rest of the world--even though she wants to fit in. It's really hilarious and I love just even reading Carrie's thoughts.

    What I dislike about this book: I didn't dislike anything! This book is a perfect ten! Even if you're not a curious person, reading Carrie Pilby will definitely be a very interesting experience!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely Amazing

    This book is truly extraordinary, it is a shame that it is hard to find. It is an extremely original story dealing with a 19 year old girl who has a hard time relating to the world, not wanting to adjust to it, but it adjusting to her. She works on a series of every day items that some go through like they are nothing and learns more about herself and coming to terms with some things.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2005

    An insightful charming read.

    I thought this book was very interesting. I loved the main character trying to find her way in the world. I could relate to the older man who took advantage of her, I had a lot of guys trying to do that to me. I've generally found that I was usually the one who had to make friends or ask guys out but if you are really shy it is difficult. I like seeing her go through her journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    LOVE IT~

    I can so relate to Carrie Pilby. This is such a wonderful, intelligent, funny book-EVERYONE should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2005

    I didn't want it to end....

    The last 2 years or so, I have been engrossed with the 'chick-lit' books, and i have read many of them. However, this book is probably the best out of all the books that I have recently read. Carrie the perfect main character that almost anyone, in some way, can relate to. Her views on the world are interesting to read, and she is so honest. I absolutley loved this book, and i did not want it to end...there has to be more. Read this novel, it's excellent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    Great Book

    This is a great book. I couldn't put it down. I want more.... What happened next?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    i thought

    this book is very very funny and smart, so smart. the character is just so smart but so lost. but along the way you too get hooked into the book and you find yourself like carrie trying new things in life, trying to fit and understand the world and the people around you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Very funny, may provoke debate

    This book has great humor and it also gives you issues to debate with your friends. The main character says a lot of what you might have thought about society but never put into words. She's definitely got some rough edges at first and has room to grow, but I can see a lot of her in the way I was at that age and also the way some people I know still are. Carrie is a genius who is struggling to find her place in a sometimes confusing world, and the characters she meets - Matt the attractive cheater, outgoing Kara, a preacher, a blind date, a couple of other lonely New Yorkers - bring her out and teach her a lot. This is a great book to read, and there's a lot to take away from it. The writing is artful in places too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2003


    I found this book to be very intelligent and witty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    A truely modern book

    Carrie Pilby will say anything. In fact, she is likely to say everything you always wanted to say, but never did. Like why if speed limits never exceed 75 miles per hour, manufacturers make them with speedometers up to 150, or why people panic buy food during snowstorm. Carrie Pilby is just that kind of girl. Caren Lissner has created a masterpiece of inner struggle with modern society, a perpetual inner monologue of doubt and frustration, in a world where people are expected to communicate with each other, often when they have nothing to say. This is no juvenile or young adult novel. This is a sophisticated running commentary of our lives and times, and Lissner, a modern day Oscar Wilde thick with puns, literary allusions and dubious words of wisdom set in a Generation X setting. In this work, Lissner, using Carrie Pilby as a vehicle, takes on all the gripes people grumble about but never do anything about. The novel makes fun of convention while its main character struggles to meet the standards everybody from her father to her psychoanalyst, often taking pot shots at the literary hierarchy, the social pecking order and the taken-for granted conventions along the way. This is an extremely humorous boot, but with that edge or sarcasm and satire that is rarely found in contemporary books, each chapter a kind of 'modest proposal' a modern day Swift might have come up with. Underneath the surface, always stirring behind every joke, pain and confusion lurk, constantly echoing the fundamental questions of life, as to what is expected of us, and how to we meet those expectations. While the book takes us through the struggle of a mid-20s woman, it is also a book about 'everyman' and the Camus-like isolation each of us faces in a more and more complex world and where we are less a part of a singular community. Over the years, I have read numerous books attempting to capture the essence of are prevalence towards loneliness, and indeed struggled to write a few myself, but Lissner has managed to build a character that encompasses that condition, her hero tilting the windmills of our post industrial society, thick with post romantic disillusionment and rich with flat out jocularity. This is a book I'm going to read again, and again after that, making it a permanent place on my bookshelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2003

    Think you can't like judgemental people? Think again!

    Think there is no life beyond SEX AND THE CITY? Meet a different Carrie. At the very end of her teenage years, she has everything one would need to succeed in life. She is smart, she has a degree, she is not unattractive. Basically she is part of a young generation that is blinded by its many choices. But she is also completely unable to function in a social environment; she looks for the negative in everything and everyone and has no ambitions or dreams. Disappointed by all men she has encountered in her life so far, including her father, she prefers to sit at home and sulk. But then her shrink gives her a list of things to do that will change her attitude, and ultimately her life. Although we are prone to not like Carrie for her character, truth be told we all think like her every once in a while, we just don't express it in quite the same way. Lissner has the rare yet great quality to make the reader root for her not-so-friendly main character, and ultimately cheer when we see her succeed. Carrie Pilby is great, the ultimate anti-chick, and aren't we all a bit like her sometimes? Highly recommended read for people who like a coming-of-age novel and who are tired of all the Carrie-Bradshaw-wannabee's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Realistic characters

    Carrie Pilby is odd by her own admission, or perhaps the rest of the world is what is odd. At nineteen, she is a genius, dateless, unemployed, and while not agoraphobic, prefers not to leave her home. At her father's insistence, she sees a psychiatrist weekly, but is getting nowhere. The doctor gives her an assignment. She is to name things she loves, do things on the list, join something, celebrate New Year's, and go on a date. ......... Carrie does her best to follow the assignment. She does join a church, though she suspects it might be a cult, does some things on the list, especially the sleeping part, and places a personal ad to get a date. It is not her fault that all the repliers are unsuitable. Her odyssey to get a date will lead her through several unfortunate meetings, a lesbian encounter, and a promising relationship with a man cheating on his fiance. Carrie learns a lot about herself and about life, and gives the reader her witty commentary in the process. ......... ***** Carrie is someone with whom everyone can identify, at least in part. She is so realistic, it can be scary at times. However, she is someone that you will want for your best friend, once you can get her to leave home to meet you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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