Carter Finally Gets it by Brent Crawford This is one of those books mothers will hate but sons will love. 14yr old Carter will be starting high school in a few days. He wants to begin his freshman year with a girlfriend but his ADD and stuttering make that a little difficult. Somehow he ends up with Abby, a very cool girl. The two have a nice thing going, Carter accidentally ruins it causing all the girls in his high school to hate him. Carter doesn't like football, he plays it because its the popular thing to do.
"Coach chatters on about strategy and teamwork He draws Xs and Os on the chalkboard and blathers about plays and holes, and I have no idea what he's talking about. I space off and think about the movie Holes and how it would suck to dig holes all day in the desert. If I were the quarterback or like, a running back, though , I would know all of the plays and exactly when and why the Xs and Os where they do. But since I only have to smash into the kid in front of me whats the point?
This book is about Carter trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in. He goes to a few high school parties. Carter hates the taste of beer so to keep up appearances he drinks mountain dew out of beer cans. After football season, Carter joins the swim team, a sport he actually likes. Carter has a problem committing to hard work and focusing. On the swim team Carter is determined to beat Andre and a whole new side of him appears. There are some great moments in this book and this is one of them. Carter is pushed to the brink by a rival and becomes a better person for it. In the Spring Carter joins something for himself, the cast of Guys and Dolls. He knows he's going to take a lot of flak from his friends but he doesn't care. This book is hilarious throughout but when Carter attempts to dance at tryouts I completely lost it. I loved Carter finally Gets it. Crawford has created a wonderful character in Carter. In between all the craziness with his friends, parties and school, Carter shares how vulnerable, lost and unsure he feels. The first year of high school is difficult for everyone this book may make it easier for a few boys if not they'll least get a few laughs. I know a lot of mothers will take issue with the language but that's one of the things I loved about the book. Yes, Carter and his friends say four letter words on occasion but that's what some teenage boys do. Crawford doesn't abuse this realistic freedom. The author slips in a note on responsibility. Crawford calls out his best friend E.J. for having sex without a condom. He does it in such a relax cool way, a few boys may actually listen.
"What kind of rubber did you use?" "Oh, uh, I didn't use one." he replies "What?" I ask "Are you serious? What shows are you watching ,dude? You're going to get a disease for sure, and that's if your lucky. You just made a baby! You'll be a dumbass kid with a kid. I'd rather be called Slappy or Sloth than Uncle Carter. But the worst nickname for a freshman is Dad! What were you thinking."
I highly recommend Carter Finally Gets it. Reluctant readers will devour this book. Ages 14 up