Real and moving,
This review is from: Getting the Girl (Underdogs) (Paperback)
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.