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.
What would you do to star in a movie?
In Carter’s Big Break, Will Carter is back and ready to act. This time for the big leagues. After winner the heart of his current girlfriend and co-star of Guys and Dolls in the previous book, Carter Finally Gets It, Carter is ready for some fun in the sun. Of course when Abby breaks up with him, he gets his face banged up in a bike accident, and his dad keeps hounding him about helping him with the deck, it seems like this is going to be the worst summer ever.
That is until he gets the lead part in a Hollywood movie that is.
In fact with Cater staring in the movie next to Hilary Idaho (one of the hottest teen actresses out there right now), and working with his semi-idol (and writer of the movie) C.B. everything seems to be going along great.
But when Hilary starts taking drugs the movie turns to shambles quick, pretty soon it’s up to Carter to see if he’s willing to step up to help his new friends or if he’s willing to loose his big break, for good…
Carter’s Big Break starts off a little rough, the dialog seems corny (especially with Carter’s friends), the characters are not incredibly endearing, and the writing seemed jumpy. That said once I sat down and thought about the context I understood it a little better. Crawford is writing for a younger crowd than I’m used to reading, thus he has to make the story more accessible for them. Thus why he has the Hilary Idaho character act as a direct copy of Vanessa Hudgens, and even mentions other characters to reference a pretend version of High School Musical. With the amount of attention and adoration High School Musical receives this is not a bad move at all.
Of course once the story gets going Crawford really breaks into his stride. His dialog is better (Carter’s friends are in the book much less after the first few chapters), the characters become more endearing (especially Carter and Hilary), and the story and writing gets smoother and more interesting.
That said, this is not the next Catcher In The Rye, of course it’s not trying to be. Carter’s Big Break is exactly what it proclaims it is, a fun tween book, about a nobody kid who gets a glimpse of Hollywood. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it’s a great summer read for its target audience, girls and boys ages 9-12. Ultimately a fun summer read.
6.5 out of 10
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Published: June 1, 2010