Yalsa Hub Challenge Book 5: Carter Finally Gets It

Next up is Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford.

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

This is the story of Will Carter, or just Carter, as he starts high school. Carter thinks he is the last virgin boy in his class, so he is determined to get a girlfriend and have sex with her. Along the way is a serious of hilarious mishaps and misunderstandings, until he finally realizes what really matters.

The object of his affection is Abby, a beautiful girl in his class he didn’t notice until he finds out she likes him. He starts to date her, but due to a misunderstanding and some plotting on the part of her so called best friend, things don’t work out. He then tries his hand at various sports, determined to also get a varsity letter and wear a letterman jacket. When he doesn’t make it onto the team for a spring sport, he instead auditions for the school play, Guys and Dolls, and wins one of the male leads opposite, you guessed it, Abby.

It was tricky to pinpoint a time period for this, but since Carter wears a watch and there is no mention of Social Media or cell phones, and the teens still call one another at home, I would hazard to guess that it is the late nineties or early 2000s, before such things came into prominence with teens. As someone who was in Guys and Dolls as a freshman, part of this book brought back memories of rehearsals and songs. I was just an extra, playing a “bobby soxer” in the Overture who wants to get famous people’s autographs and the ending scene, and strutting my stuff as an annoyed “doll” waiting for her guy to light her cigarette while he’s trying to carry her shopping bags during the titular song “Guys and Dolls” (Some guy’s only doin’ it for some doll..).

In my opinion, the book accurately portrays the high school experience and the voice of a fourteen-year-old boy. There are two sequels as well, that I’d be willing to bet they are just as full of mishaps. After much internal debating, I give the book Three and a Half lightsabers since while the situations Carter and his friends are hilarious, they are at times borderline ridiculous.

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5 thoughts on “Yalsa Hub Challenge Book 5: Carter Finally Gets It

  1. Okay, this is the part that confuses me: “This is the story of Will Carter, or just Carter, as he starts high school. Carter thinks he is the last virgin boy in his class, so he is determined to get a girlfriend and have sex with her.”

    Thinks he’s the LAST VIRGIN BOY as he STARTS HIGH SCHOOL?? What?! Am I totally out of the ways of this world that I think that is kind of young and WHY would he think he’s the last virgin?? I mean, you’re about 14? Maybe 15 depending on your birthday?

    I would understand the fear he has if it’s beginning of college (I still think our society puts way too much unneeded pressure on people having sex before college), but high school?

    I guess I’m seriously disturbed by the premise of this book to begin with. It’s incredible to me that the premise of the book is having sex in the beginning of high school.

    I’m guessing the thing he finally “gets” is that it’s not all about sex? I’m seriously hitting my head on a wall over here.

    • I agree it is kind of young. But It’s a completely misguided and mistakenly preconceived notion based on a few of his classmates. Some of them are clearly getting up to things they shouldn’t, including his older sister. He thinks the kids around him are having sex just becuase they have boyfriends/girlfriends, or he sees them making out at parties, etc. And the locker room talk/bragging that they done more than they have does nothing to help this impression.

      It is a bit disturbing, but the reality is that teens are and have been having sex, or at least thinking about it. It is young to have sex, and I don’t think it’s necessarily that are culture says it’s OK, as much as the lack of adequate education on the matter. My high school didn’t have sex ed, I know the high school I would have gone to in Jersey saved it for freshman year, at least when I was in junior high there. But it doesn’t help things. Plus, some kids have a habit of bragging that they’ve done stuff they haven’t, which just fuels peer pressure.

      No, he doesn’t have sex in the end. He realizes he doesn’t care what others think of him for being in the musical, and what really matters.

      • Wow, I had sex ed starting in 7th grade, as soon as we turned a teenager. And then we had it again in 9th and 10th grade, maybe even 11th grade. Except by then it encompassed everything from sex to drugs to eating disorders and was labeled “Health Education”.

        I do understand kids bragging about stuff when they haven’t done it. I fell into that trap and sometimes it still haunts me…story for another time.

        I guess my main concern is wondering if this book was written thinking that’s the norm (sex by freshman year of high school). By writing a book like this, aren’t you inadvertently planting a seed (Pun!) where a young child might start thinking it is normal to have sex at that age…despite what the author is trying to argue against?

      • We did not have sex ed in my high school, or middle school. We had a health class as part of PE in junior high in NJ, but it did not cover sex (it did cover anxiety and depression though). We had a life skills or life management class freshman year (don’t remember the exact name but it had life in it), again no sex ed, but it did go over sexual harassment so that’s a plus. No health class in high school, a personal fitness class went over eating right etc, but that’s it.

        I don’t understand it either frankly.

        I think it was written based of the authors own experiences. The author is young and mentions on his website that getting into acting in high school helped his add, which is what happens to Carter. I know some in my high school were at least thinking of having sex that young (again, some stories for another time and place), so I think this is more of a case of showing it’s normal to think about sex in general. Love the pun, and maybe it does, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a realistic depiction of high school life. Which is why it’s on one of YALSA’s lists in the first place. Besides, would it be better to have the other extreme where sex and/or sexuality and dating aren’t mentioned at all in a book about high school kids? It’s hard to find a balance I guess. Plus, I cant’ let bias against something into my work.

  2. Pingback: 2013 in Review | The Ramblings of a Jedi Librarian

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