Crawford has quite a debut novel in Carter Finally Gets It. This is the funniest novel I have read since, Doug MacLeod's I'm Being Stalked by a Moonshadow from over a year ago. Will Carter is entering his freshman year in high school and is trying really hard to get everything right. Carter has attention deficit disorder and occasionally stutters, though usually only around attractive girls. Like most new freshman, Carter is not certain how to act or what to expect and his lack of concentration makes it worse.
Carter's adventures throughout the school year are hilarious. Carter tries out sports, the theatre and avoiding embarrassing nicknames. He narrates the story and includes all of the gory details. Carter is really introspective and he grows greatly throughout the book. This novel is packed with jokes and witty language. Carter experiences his first girlfriend, first high school party and first time driving a humongous pickup truck. Carter's parents are also realistically drawn as they can't help worrying about their son.
Crawford writes in a clear style and yet still captures Carter's confused thoughts. While I'm sure some more superb teen fiction will be published this year, I can't imagine that this won't be among my favorites of '09. This is a brilliant debut by Brent Crawford. Fans of Jordan Sonnenblick and Chris Crutcher should enjoy this novel as well.