Review: Carter’s Big Break by Brent Crawford

Carter's Big Break by Brent Crawford

After surviving freshman year (just barely), Carter is craving his summer break. Unfortunately, when he and his girlfriend, Abby, part ways, it looks as though summer just might break him. Things start to look up when he’s unexpectedly cast in an independent film opposite the world’s biggest tween sensation, Hilary Idaho. With Hollywood knocking on his door, Carter gets a taste of the good life. But as the film spirals out of control, he begins to fear that he’s not the “somebody” he thinks he is and more the “nobody” he’s sure he always has been. Find out if Carter goes Hollywood or Hollywood goes Carter

Title: Carter’s Big Break (Carter Finally Gets It #2)
Author: by Brent Crawford
Publication date: June 1, 2010

This review may contain spoilers for Carter Finally Gets It, the first book in the series.

Carter’s looking forward to the summer after his freshman year of high school. With Abby by his side and long days ahead to spend with friends, it’s going to be a great summer. Then his drama teacher convinces him and Abby to audition for a movie that’s being made in town. You would think a role in a real movie would make a great summer into a fantastic one, but it’s all kind of a drag. First, he and Abby break up. Then he has to spend all his time working on the movie. The little downtime he does get is spent, not with his friends, but with Hilary Idaho, star of the movie. Hilary is Carter’s age but she’s a huge star, a singer and an actress on the Kids Channel.

I appreciated the male perspective more in Carter Finally Gets It. In Carter’s Big Break, I found myself more easily annoyed with Carter than I was in the first book. He was always trying to impress someone: his friends, Abby, Hilary Idaho, anyone really. It got old after awhile, even though it’s probably pretty realistic for someone Carter’s age.

That said, I think the things I liked the most about Carter in the first book were missing from this one. In Carter Finally Gets It, Carter was just a regular guy. The things that happened to him and his friends could happen to anyone. But how many kids get the chance to star in a movie with actual celebrities? I mean, the guy was in ONE high school musical before landing the role. I don’t care how good he was for a high school production. Anyone would have a long way to go before being ready for Hollywood.

It was also odd that Brent Crawford, the author of the series, wrote some version of himself into the book. The author of the book-turned-movie (and director of the movie) was named CB and he had the letters S-T-A-Y and F-O-C-U tattooed on his fingers. The very first things you see on Brent Crawford’s website are those tattoos on his own hands. Those are not the only similarities between the two. While some will appreciate the inside joke, it pulled me out of the story.

It’s not all bad though. Carter finds himself in some situations that he’s not quite ready for, and I enjoyed his struggle on what to do about them. Although he turns to his father for advice, Carter realizes that he’s going to have to make his own decision. It shows some real growth and maturity for the character. I’m looking forward to the third book, to having Carter back in school and (hopefully) in some regular guy scenarios, and to seeing how a slightly more mature Carter handles the things he will have to face.

3 stars