When I decided to go ahead with the idea of a Markus Zusak week, one thing I knew I wanted for sure was to have my long time friend, Jenny (from Alternate Readality) write a post about Getting the Girl. It's funny because Jenny and I, even though we are the best of bookish buddies, we tend to disagree a lot about so many books. However, when it comes to Markus Zusak and his books, we are SO on the same page! I knew that this particular book meant something quite special to her, so I've asked her to try (and I know it was a hard thing to do!) and articulate why and how it speaks to her.
So while I've called this a review, it's actually more of a response or a reaction.
Take it away Jenny:
Take it away Jenny:
Whenever Markus Zusak’s name is mentioned what do you think? Admit it, you think of The Book Thief. Yeah, yeah, it’s his most beloved book. And if you couldn't quite get into, The Book Thief you probably love, I am the Messenger. Now don’t get me wrong. I love those books too. You can’t help but love anything Zusak writes if you give it a chance. It just saddens me that people give The Book Thief so much love and even give I am the Messenger a thumbs up but are hardly even aware that Zusak wrote three other books. Come on, people, you can’t call yourself a true Markus Zusak fan and not have read ALL of his books. Or worse, read them and dared say they weren't as good as his latest books. Why? Because they’re not about something as controversial as a World War 2 or something as fascinating as mysterious playing cards showing up in the mail? For shame!
The Wolfe Brother’s series stands all on its own as an amazing series about human nature, coming of age and conquering our greatest adversary. Self doubt. As much as I love ALL of Markus Zusak’s works I have a soft spot for Getting the Girl. K, I feel so stupid saying this but you know that song, Killing Me Softly by the Fugees? You know how it’s all about this girl that goes and hears this guy sing and he’s totally singing about her? Well, that’s how this book feels to me. I swear Markus studied my soul and then displayed it across the pages of this book. I feel arrogant as sin saying that, though because I’m not nearly as sweet and compassionate as Cameron Wolfe (the hero of the story) is. However I relate so much to him that I sob hysterically every time I read this beautiful book.
Cameron Wolfe just can’t live up to the rest of his family. His brother Ruben is charismatic, can win any fight he sets out to, and always gets the girl. Cameron, on the other hand, can barely even talk to girls and lives his life walking the streets of the city and longing after Octavia, the girl his brother is currently dating. He just wants to amount something and have real love. When Ruben breaks up with Octavia, Cameron is devastated that she’ll no longer be around but he never imagined that she might like him or believe in him.
We all have those books that will probably always mean more to us than to anyone else because of how well we can relate to the MC and for me, that book is Getting The Girl. Just like Cameron, I have a family who often makes me feel like I’ll never measure up to anything. Just like Cameron I’m a bit introverted and, yes, have been known to wander the streets at night. Creepy, I know, but mostly I relate to his longing for love. Ouch! That was hard to say. I’m not some social freak but the truth is I’m not married, not in a relationship and I wish I was. So I get it. Cameron’s words touch me. I think they’re capable of touching anyone who’s ever longed for love.
Another truth is I’m an animal.
A Human Animal….
…..God, how I want the skin of women! I want it on my lips and hands and fingers. How I want to taste her…
That’s not enough!
Yes, when that’s done, I also want the everything that’s her to fill up so much in front of me that it spills and shivers and gives, just like I’m prepared to do myself.
For me, Getting the Girl is the story of how belief and love can give a person the courage and strength to begin the journey of becoming the something they've always wanted to be. And THAT is a beautiful idea for story.
“You ever hear a dog cry, Steve? You know, howling so loud, it’s almost unbearable?” He nodded. “I reckon they howl like that because they’re so hungry it hurts, and that’s what I feel in me everyday of my life. I’m so hungry to be somethin’ to be somebody. You hear me?” He did. “I’m not lyin’ down ever. Not for you. Not for anyone.” I ended it. "I’m hungry, Steve.”
So why do I love this one and how does it make me feel? In a sentence, (and I’ll steal it from the book)…….. My thoughts kneeled down.
Ah that's so perfect! Thanks so much, Jenny, for spilling it out there for us! It's awesome to see plain and simple how books and especially these Markus Zusak books, get right down to our emotional core.
My readers, what books have especially spoken to your emotions? Or what book felt like it was written just for you?