Freeing Carter is my second book by Nyrae Dawn. I think she has become my favorite author. Both her characters and stories are realistic. She writes about really messy situations teens find themselves in. Somehow they manage to find a way out them.
I find Freeing Carter worth reading for following reasons:
1. The author showcased a middle class family instead of the commonly used low income family when showcasing family alcoholism. Dawn shows how devastating the impact abuse of alcohol can have on children even if the one who is drinking is not violent and mean when intoxicated. And for me this is the real value of this story.
2. It is written from the male POV. So finally I got an answer to the question why good guys are dating mean girls. Beside that I was fascinated with how realistic Dawn wrote the state of mind of a teenage boy who is facing numerous issues.
Freeing Carter is an emotional story and I felt all Carter’s emotions. I felt his joy, his love, and his hatred. But also I felt the joy and pain of the other characters. All in all this is extremely well written and worth reading.
Brief Synopsis: Highs school senior Carter Shaw has a lot of on his plate and he is dealing with his problems alone. That is until a new girl comes to school. Little by little she cracks his armor and shows him that it is easier to find a solution when you share your problems.
His whole life Carter’s fought to hold it together: To help Mom run their store. To be there for his special needs sister, Sara, and be the perfect boyfriend Mel wants. To dominate on the basketball court—the only place he ever feels free. And to carry Mom up the stairs when she’s too smashed to make it on her own.
It isn't like she has a problem. Mom loves them. If she doesn't drink every day, she's not really an alcoholic, right?
Then Kira Dawson, a girl with a bipolar wardrobe and rotating hairstyles comes to town. Somehow, she sees the truths he hides from the world. “You have skeletons, too, Carter Shaw. Don’t think I don’t know it.” For the first time, he wants someone to see his inner scars—to really know him.
When his mom finally goes too far, will Carter be able to man-up, even if it means turning his back on her and stepping out from behind the façade he’s fought so hard to keep in place?