Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carter's Big Break, by Brent Crawford

Carter's Big Break
Brent Crawford
Hyperion
978-142311243-3
This book was written for adolescent human boys.

We are not adolescent human boys.

We have, however, encountered enough adolescent human boys in our collective lifetimes to be able to say with conviction that Carter is, in fact, a very typical adolescent human boy. Is every male teenager exactly like Carter? No (they can't really all be that clueless, can they?), but we think every teenage boy we know would identify with Carter, recognize his thought processes, and enjoy his story. While we, not being adolescent human males, did not quite identify with said thought processes, we could recognize them (so that's what they're thinking about when they're obviously not listening!)

This, btw, as the parent of a teenage girl, concerns Miss Ami greatly. Said teenage girl will be allowed to date in T-minus 9 days, and already, in fact, has a date for that night. Dating, unfortunately, seems to involve typical teenage boys, a creature that scares many otherwise brave adults. (Public notice: Miss Ami has guns. Several of them. And lives on the National Forest, which has LOTS of places to bury a body. Just sayin'.)

This is the sequel to "Carter Finally Gets It," and as we follow Carter into the summer after his freshman year, we have to wonder how much he actually 'got'. From the first page:
I studied so hard last night, I thought my brain would fall out. But it didn't, and I aced that sucker with a D+!...(his teacher) gave me a nod and said, "Imagine if you'd applied yourself like this all year, Mr. Carter." I laughed at his joke, returned the nod, and replied, "Yeah!" as I headed for the door.
Erm...Carter...never mind.

In short time, Carter has managed to alienate his friends, get dumped by his girlfriend, hurt his father, and - oh, yes, score a starring role in a major Hollywood film. The latter should be the easy part, right? Okay, this is Carter we are talking about.

It is easy to get frustrated with Carter, but at the same time he remains a very likeable guy. He's not a bad sort at all, he just...doesn't always think. He chooses the wrong people to take advice from, doesn't always recognize what's going on around him, and can be a bit self-absorbed. He really does care a great deal about the people around him and how they are feeling, he just doesn't always see how his actions relate to that. In other words, he is...can we say it one more time? A typical adolescent human boy.

Put it on your shelves for the teenage boys, and steer the fussier mothers away from it. We give this one a

4 out of 5.

Random quote we would like to see on a bumper sticker: "ADD is easier to spot in other people...and much funnier."

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