Title: Getting the Girl
Author: Markus Zusak
Length: 250 pages
Plot Basics: Cameron Wolfe dreams about girls. A lot. He's a teenage boy. His fascination though is heightened by his older brother Ruben's new girlfriend, Octavia. Cam is drawn to her and through that borderline obsession starts coming into his own as a young man, learning things about family and life.
Banter Points: Word Nerd didn't know about this Zusak book until she found it on the shelf at Half-Price Books and bought it, solely because it was Zusak. As usual, Zusak writes a poignantly crisp book with elegant turns of phrase that are enlightening and sophisticated. Cam Wolfe is a crushingly real character trying to find his place in the world. Also, in the world of YA fiction, it's refreshing to see a story about boys dealing with being teenagers and not another entry in the litany of "gossip girl" like books.
Bummer Points: Apparently, this is a sequel to a book called "Fighting Ruben Wolfe." Word Nerd now wants to find that title too. She will have to be patient until the hold on it comes in at the library. Cam also seemed like a bit of an early incantation of Ed Kennedy, the protagonist of Zusak's "I am the Messenger."
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you have an older teenage boy, or a younger one who's a good reader, introduce him to Zusak and Cam Wolfe. Also, if you are a grown-up and like poignant stories, read it.