GETTING THE GIRL

A self-contained working-class lad falls for his brother’s ex-girlfriend, which in turn triggers a rift between the siblings. In this sequel to Fighting Rueben Wolfe (2001), Zusak’s taciturn yet surprisingly eloquent hero Cameron doesn’t feel like a winner, but instead has “to scavenge for moments of alrightness.” Overshadowed by his older brothers Steven and Ruben, Cameron, who has no friends except for the other members of the so-called “Wolfe pack,” longs for love and acceptance. He spends his nights wandering around alone, almost always winding up in front of Stephanie’s house, a girl who once called him a loser. The one thing that “whispered okayness” to Cameron was his words, which is what he calls his nascent writing. In contrast, Cameron’s handsome and charismatic brother Ruben, a fighter and a ladies’ man, lives strictly in the moment. Cameron likes and admires Ruben’s current flame, a pretty, classy girl named Octavia. Although not at all surprised when Ruben breaks it off with her, Cameron is simply amazed when Octavia shows up in front of Stephanie’s house and asks Cameron if he would rather “come and stand outside” her place. Concurrently gritty and lyrical with a gruesomely humorous set piece involving the funeral of a neighbor’s dog, Zusak explores the deep if inexpressible desire to create, as well as the intersection between family loyalty and romantic affection. Poignant yet unsentimental, his coming-of-age exploration will touch the heart. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-439-38949-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 20

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage.

THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS

From the Montague Siblings series , Vol. 3

Adrian, the youngest of the Montague siblings, sails into tumultuous waters in search of answers about himself, the sudden death of his mother, and her mysterious, cracked spyglass.

On the summer solstice less than a year ago, Caroline Montague fell off a cliff in Aberdeen into the sea. When the Scottish hostel where she was staying sends a box of her left-behind belongings to London, Adrian—an anxious, White nobleman on the cusp of joining Parliament—discovers one of his mother’s most treasured possessions, an antique spyglass. She acquired it when she was the sole survivor of a shipwreck many years earlier. His mother always carried that spyglass with her, but on the day of her death, she had left it behind in her room. Although he never knew its full significance, Adrian is haunted by new questions and is certain the spyglass will lead him to the truth. Once again, Lee crafts an absorbing adventure with dangerous stakes, dynamic character growth, sharp social and political commentary, and a storm of emotion. Inseparable from his external search for answers about his mother, Adrian seeks a solution for himself, an end to his struggle with mental illness—a journey handled with hopeful, gentle honesty that validates the experiences of both good and bad days. Characters from the first two books play significant secondary roles, and the resolution ties up their loose ends. Humorous antics provide a well-measured balance with the heavier themes.

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291601-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more