Sara's Reviews > Carter's Big Break

Carter's Big Break by Brent Crawford
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's review
Mar 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, young-adult
Read on February 19, 2011

This sequel to Carter Finally Gets It was entertaining and made me laugh out loud a few times, although overall I don't think it was quite as strong as the first book. Set the summer after Carter's freshman year of high school, the school break begins on a bad note when his girlfriend dumps him after he makes an incredibly daft comment. He wants her back but isn't sure how to go about it because successfully dealing with girls is definitely not a talent he has, but a distraction quickly appears in his life when he's cast in a locally filmed movie with a Hollywood star.

Once again, Carter manages to get through days with an equal amount of idiocy and naivety, and his narration is hilarious. I started laughing on the first page when he describes how a teacher said he couldn't fail the last test of the year or else he'd be stuck in summer school; Carter tells the reader, "I aced that sucker with a D+." There were so many great one-liners like this and so many wonderful descriptions that made me laugh.

I think what kept this book from being as great as it could have been is that the Hollywood movie plotline never felt quite real. Carter Finally Gets It was brilliant because it captured a teen boy muddling his way through the high school scene; Carter's Big Break didn't simply continue that but tried to up the ante by throwing a movie in the mix, and it didn't capture the full charm that the first one had.

I did enjoy the ways in which Carter matured (though, really, he didn't mature that much, which is funny from the reader's perspective), and I loved his commentary on the world around him. I liked this book a lot, but I wish there had been less Hollywood and more normalcy in the book to give it a more balanced reality. That said, however, if you liked the first book (and I know that's not a book for everyone!), you'll probably find this one amusing. I sure did.

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