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3.9 out of 5 stars14
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 14 February 2010
This is the first of Markus' books that I have read and to say I was deeply moved by the profound emotions of Cam, is an understatement. Some of his feelings of being more than you could be, the hunger to be great still resonates inside me although I am no longer a teen. I don't expect that everyone will identify with this character but if you were ever young and misunderstood, had an unidentified dream of being great and being your own person, of being different and accepted and of loving others without expecting much in return...this book show you your very soul in its pages that you will think Markus has written a biography not of your life as most people would imagine but of you...the very you from the inside.
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on 16 December 2010
I borrowed the book thief from a friend a while back and loved it, so I thought I would try another of Zusak's books and received this from my wishlist. Sometimes I am wary when I love one book by an author that the others could be a disappointment, but within pages those fears flew out the window. This book is fabulous, there is beautiful vulnerability and fragility to the leading character which conflicts with his strength, detemination and wit. There are moments of heartache and moments to chuckle out loud and all wrapped up in a genuinely believable coming of age story. I think regardless of your age you can connect with the self doubting of the main character but he is also wonderfully self aware at times. But more than anything it feels genuine not like an adult trying to write how a teenager might feel. I would recommend this book to anyone, it's a great reminder too of those cringeworthy moments from our own youth as we attempted to discover love for the first time.
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on 28 January 2012
I bought this, on the strength of the Book Thief (one of my favourite books).

It reminded me of "Catcher in the Rye", in that the main character is a loner struggling to find his place in the big wide world, and wanders round observing other people without actually making his own mark for most of the book. I actually preferred this book to "Catcher in the Rye", though, as it's easy to imagine it being set in any large town or city in the UK (although it is in fact actually set in Australia), and easier to identify with the "hero".

There's also the added dimension of tension between 2 brothers, after one of them starts dating the girl his much more popular older brother has unceremoniously dumped.

It's a sad, poetic book, about loneliness, love and family. It's very short (large type and few pages)but in my view well worth a read.

But if you haven't bought "The Book Thief" yet, buy that first. Because that's sadder and more poetic still.
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on 18 June 2009
After reading The Book Thief and The Messenger I couldn't help but track down Zusak's other books just to be immersed again in another fictional world by this very talented writer. I wasn't disappointed. As other reviews point out it's a teenage love story but the characters are written with such depth and beauty that you get drawn in and you don't tend to worry about the possible target audience.
I've just added 'Fighting Ruben Wolfe' to my Wish List and can't wait for Zusak's next offering.
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on 28 November 2011
After reading The Book Thief, I decided I needed to read more of Markus Zusak's work. I adore that book.
But although The Messenger didn't disappoint, Getting The Girl was a complete let down.

The storyline is so flimsy you basically know what's going to happen long before it does. There is no guessing, there is none of the eagerness to follow on with the story and there certainly isn't the 'can't put it down' factor. It's just a story about a boy in a small town who dreams of being more than just the 'weird' quiet little brother to two young men who are very strong characters.

The undertones of stalking and obsessive behaviour didn't sit comfortably at all, especially as it's implied that no one really minds because it's just Cam being odd. It just didn't ring true, no teenage girl would enjoy that. And her family would be on the phone to the police!

I read it all the way through, hoping it would improve but at the end felt that even if I'd read this as a teenager I'd still be left feeling I'd wasted my time on this.

I didn't especially warm to Cam or any of the other characters, it all felt very forced.

Not worth your time or money unless you want a badly written book about a boy who is as interesting as mud.
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on 1 June 2013
Somehow, I read this book before the others in the series which should probably have made it confusing. However, even without having read the previous two books I feel as though this one stands quite well on its own.

The beginning of the book sees Cameron (Cam), Ruben and Octavia together with Cameron narrating. Cam has such a strong voice and one which is really enjoyable to read. Out of him and his brother, Cam is the one to be seen as the weaker of the two. He definitely doesn't have the success with the girls that Ruben does. It was easy to feel sorry for him as a character, even without having read the other two books, as he is so down on himself. From the very first page, I was routing for Cam and wanted him to get his happy ending.

What I loved about Cam though is that he knows who he is, even if that isn't accepted very much. He knows that he has to work hard and fight for what he wants, as he states in the opening pages. Cam is also open and honest about who he is and what he wants. While that is sometimes a better life or acceptance, it is also about girls and being a regular teenager. At times, Cam seems older than this though due to the beautiful way in which he narrates. He's wise beyond his years, he has a way of saying what he wants and what he is feeling in such a wonderful and mature way and I think this helps to really set him aside from his brother.

As I hadn't read the previous books, I was yet to learn of the relationship between Cam and Ruben and how different they were. Ruben is the complete opposite of Cam. He's a bit arrogant, a womaniser and not nearly as thoughtful and emotional as Cam. I hated to see him put Cam down on such a regular basis. Ruben really does think that he's better than others and especially better than his brother, which is largely due to his success with the girls. It was a shame to see that girls were the biggest thing in Ruben's life and most of what he cared about.

The plot mainly follows Cam and his quest to get the girl, as the title would suggest. Seeing Cam fight for something he wanted, no matter the consequences was very heart-warming. It became clear that he had never really had anything he wanted so much before, nor ever been the first choice. However, the book also follows the whole Wolfe family and shows how their reactions/ decisions affect Cam's life and the way he thinks of things himself. I really enjoyed getting to see him in a bigger, more social environment as he definitely wasn't the most outgoing of characters. Being around his family gives Cam the chance to show how different they make him feel and also how much better everyone else thinks they are in comparison.

Overall, even though the last in the series and with me reading in the wrong order, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters and lives that Zusak has created are extremely real and the story wonderful to read.
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on 18 May 2009
I must admit that the only reason I bought this book was because I loved The Book Thief and I am the Messenger, which were written by the same author.

This is a great read but I only gave it 4 stars because I found it more geared to the teenage market and, unfortunately, I left this age bracket some time ago (not the author's fault but my rating has to reflect what is good for me).

Aside from that, it makes a great read and it is a book that you can pick up and just read from start to finish. I had an instant liking to the main character and I would buy anything else that this author has written because he writes with style and wit.
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on 6 April 2011
I bought this book because I loved the book thief (read before the hype)
However, this does not even come close in skilful writing.
Granted, it is a book written very much for teenage boys and if you are one I imagine this book to be more important.

Don't get me wrong, the book is ok but won't stay with me for very long I think.
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on 10 November 2014
Beautifully written with words used as only Markus Zusak can do. It is part 1 of a trilogy.. which I did not realised when I downloaded. I am committed now to finding out what happens to Cameron and his two brothers and sister. This first book finds Cameron (Cam) as a schoolboy at the doorway to young adult; Insecure, lacking in self-confidence and having problems with his hormones. He feels invisible by the side of his footballing brother and his handsome, 'always getting the girl' brother. His sister is a bit of a stranger. While Cam is telling his story he discovers 'words' and starts writing his 'words' down. The 'words' and a budding relationship with a girl, help him to know himself and to understand his siblings better. More importantly for them and himself, he stops being invisible and discovers he never was.
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on 31 December 2012
Markus Zusak is a favourite author of mine - The Messenger in particular, as well as The Book Thief, are really great and interesting reads. I tried this shorter book to sample some of his other work and in keeping with previous novels was well worth reading (although perhaps not quite as good as the previous too mentioned).
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