Fourteen-year-old Will Carter (known as Carter) is about to start high school. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong does. Carter stutters whenever he tries to talk to a girl, he's constantly pummeled during football practice, and he's ruining his older sister's reputation. Okay, so maybe only his sister, Lynn, cares about that last one. Will Carter ever be able to do anything right? For a while, Carter continues to make mistakes, from asking a girl that is not his girlfriend to the Homecoming Dance to disqualifying the entire swim team because of a false start. However, as the year progresses, things change, and Carter finally gets it.
One word to describe Carter Finally Gets It is fun. Carter's amusing mistakes (and the few things he does right) create a funny read. Crawford did a wonderful job of lacing humor into the novel. The humor was not too over the top like other novels I've read (Sophomore Undercover, I'm looking at you), but likewise, the humor was apparent. The best thing about Carter Finally Gets It was that Carter was a very relatable character. Everyone has dealt with the desire to fit in like Carter. I also liked that Carter did not fit into a particular clique. He was not a jock, a nerd, a drama nerd, or even a "loser." He is kind of a in-between of all these, and I found this to be rather refreshing.
The minor characters were just as strong as Carter. Out of the bunch, Nick, Lynn's boyfriend was my favorite. In the novel, he's somewhat of an older brother to Carter. He is also what I imagine Carter would be like in a few years. I also loved the play scenes toward the latter part of the novel. Carter's high school puts on the production Guys and Dolls. After reading this novel, I had to find the movie, and I really enjoyed it. You know a book is good when you watch a movie related to the book (that's not based on the book) after reading it. Also, I just learned that the sequel to going to be released in April. Yay!
I recommend Carter Finally Gets It to anyone looking for a unique YA book. That is, a book without female narrators, anything paranormal, or dead parents/siblings.
A Fun Article about the Book
Boob Speak (It's a Carter Finally Gets It site)
Brent Crawford's Site
Hyperion Books for Children
I won this book from Free Book Friday.