Books aimed at teen boys, like books aimed at teen girls, need to talk to their audience and tap into a pretty realistic voice to really work. For a guy, this means antics as well as emotions, and crude humour along with coming of age. don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Carter’s Unfocused One-Track Mind
by Brent Crawford
ISBN: 978 1 42314 445 8
Pretty much exactly a year ago, I read the first two books starring Carter, which I heartily enjoyed. Carter, or Will Carter, to his parents and teachers, is a pretty standard teenage guy, if a little on the sensitive side. He loves sports as well as drama, and while he is totally into his girlfriend, he also loves kicking it with his pack of crazily nick-named buddies and getting into stupid messes.
In this third installment, Carter is in his sophomore year, and has learned to take his sister’s advice in matters of all things related to girls. He’s with Abby, who he adores, and he’s on the football team. Things are going okay, when Abby starts talking about going away to school next year and suggests he come along, too. The rest of the year is a roller coaster of emotional stuff around Abby and school, his love/hate relationship with sports, and a series of fights with a rival school. it flies by pretty fast, and though he sometimes feels like he’s just hanging on for the ride, he manages to take control of things he was never good at before, and it all comes out pretty well in the end.
These books are definitely great fun – I was laughing so hard I was on the verge of losing it in public on the way home one night – though they may give you an insight into teen boys that you didn’t want! Still, for a teen guy, they are a funny, relateable read, and Carter is a good kid at the end of the day, so even moms shouldn’t be too grossed out. It’s also worth mentioning that these ones are best read in order, so if you haven’t read the first two, go back and get them before this one – you’ll just get more of what is going on, even though he does recap a little when nedded.