Book Review: Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak

Regular readers of this site know that I’m a big fan a Markus Zusak’s books. The Book Thief is one of my all time favorites, and I also really like I Am the Messenger. I recently finished one of Zusak’s earlier books, Getting the Girl, and it confirmed for me once again why I like his writing so much. The voice of Zusak’s characters is so real, so easy to empathize with, that as you’re reading you almost think of yourself as the main character. I’m certainly not a high school boy like Cameron Wolfe in Getting the Girl, but I really felt like I knew what he was going through and knew his character very well. Here’s my official review; I highly recommend it for readers aged 14 through adult.

In Getting the Girl, Markus Zusak takes us into the world of Cameron Wolfe, a high school boy living in the shadow of his older siblings: Steve who’s smart and driven and successful at everything he does, Sarah who works hard, and Ruben, a fighter who earns the respect of all the guys in the neighborhood and who easily gets any woman he wants.

But Cameron is a loner, with no friends outside his family, no girls to go out with, and nothing to do at night but wander the streets around his home. Things start to change for Cam when Octavia comes into his life. Octavia is the latest in a long line of girls dumped by Ruben. Cam sees her as different from the rest, and when she makes it known she’s interested in him, Cam doesn’t hesitate. But how does he open up to someone when he’s so used to being alone? And how does he tell Ruben that’s he’s dating one of his ex-girlfriends?

Cameron is an unlikely hero. Quiet and unassuming, he’s caught between wanting to find someone who appreciates him for what he is and wanting to be more than what he lets others see of him. Getting the Girl delves into complex issues of family and the roles played by different members, and finding a way to be true to yourself while not being overshadowed by more forceful personalities.

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