Know any teen boys, maybe between 13 and 19? Then you probably know one just like Carter or one of his good friends – and if you haven’t had a good laugh at them yet, this should do the trick. (also perfect reading for them, so winning all around!)
Carter Finally Gets It
Carter is pretty much your average grade 9 guy. Not super popular, but not an outcast, he’s got a gang of his boys he hangs with doing stupid stuff, and his dreams pretty much revolve around girls and doing cool stuff, though he does get teased sometimes for not always hiding his sensitive side as well as some of the guys.
In this first book, Carter talks about nicknames, tries to do a gainer yet again (and fails), navigates grade 9, gets a girlfriend, messes up a lot, discovers a passion for theatre, and learns to be himself – a little more, anyhow.
He also made me laugh like a crazy person in public, because this book? Is hilarious. His earnest commentary, his goof-ups, and his intentional jokes all read perfectly for the boy he is and his voice hits the mark bang-on. (I know grown men who talk like this sometimes, in fact…) This book stands along with Swim the Fly and Spanking Shakespeare as perfect reads for even reluctant teen guy readers – and you might want to try it yourself for a good belly laugh, too!
At the end of Carter’s first book, he has discovered that he loves acting, and he and his love interest light up the stage when they channel all their own real-life tensions and arguments into their roles. This electricity draws the attention of their drama teacher and a new author-director filming his movie that summer in town, who casts Carter as his lead, against his producer’s wishes.
The ins and outs of learning about the movie are woven through his dilemmas around working with a big star (she’s hot & sought after! but has issues…) and the way it separates him from his family and friends. It’s perhaps deeper than the first book, but Carter’s voice is just the same, if a touch more introspective, and the funny moments are just as funny, if slightly fewer.
By the end of this one, Carter has had some growing up and had to deal with a few real problems – but fear not, though he may have matured somewhat, he still has the same immaturity that made him so funny in the first book, and remains a good read that should satisfy teens and parents alike, since Carter may have his amusing dumb moments, but is ultimately a decent and fully believable kid.
Also available as an ebook.