December 22, 2011

Underdogs by Markus Zusak

Underdogs is a trilogy of Zusak's first three novels; The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. I read Fighting Ruben Wolfe first, whose review is below. The three books have so successfully been blended in my mind that I can't differentiate them, so this review covers all three. This is a story about seventeen-year-old Cameron Wolfe, an insecure, seemingly lost soul that beautifully emerges and finds himself. He lives in the shadow of his oldest brother Steve and older brother Ruben. Steve is a perfectionist that seems to have it all together; looks, athleticism, and a great job. Ruben is a fighter, both literally and figuratively, with strapping good looks that always gets the girls. Cameron has a deep affection for his brothers as well as for his sister Sarah, and his parents, for whom he also has tremendous respect. Living in a blue collar, working neighborhood, Cameron and Ruben are looked upon as slackers. Their reality is one of fighting for respect, and finding their way. Told in the first person by Cameron, Zusak's writing style emerges. While not as quite developed as his later novels, the poetic, short sentences that bring out the deep emotions and angst of a seventeen year old boy, bring depth to the novels. The book is for more mature readers who will appreciate these character driven stories.
Reed Reads Score: 4

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