The Underdog – Markus Zusak (9/52 Books Challange)

The underdog Ever since I read The Book Thief and I Am a Messenger, I have been totally in love with Markus Zusak. Therefore, even though it was in the kids’ section of my local library, I didn’t hesitate for a minute, and just borrowed it. I was hoping to get another masterpiece like the two already mentioned. Well, you can’t always get what you want.

The novel is a story of a few weeks’ life of an average teenage boy, Cameron Wolfe. He lives an average life, in an average family, is of average appearance, intelligence or hobbies. There is nothing special about him or anything that surrounds him. There is nothing special about the events of the few weeks, either. It almost makes me want to say: “there’s no plot!” He has a job, but it’s nothing extraordinary. He meets a girl, but they never go out. He fights with his brother and gets in trouble for that, but it’s solved quickly and painlessly.

The plus of the novel – very short novel, even for the YA standards – is the great description of Cameron’s dreams, that reflect what’s going on in teenager’s mind. Another plus – it’s about an underdog, and I’ve always had a thing for them. Some kind of a warm feeling, maybe because I think of myself as of an underdog. Third plus, it’s got a good message for teenagers out there – you can be broken, but not defeated. Life goes on and may or may not offer other, sometimes better, opportunities.

Minus – it was boring, sometimes to the point where I thought I wouldn’t finish. Maybe I had too big expectations. It’s generally a book I will forget pretty soon. Maybe a book doesn’t have to have a big message to be enjoyed. I guess it’s enough to just say “Get a grip!” Sometimes it’s the best message something/someone can give

I wouldn’t recommend it, though. Mostly because you may be discouraged to read anything by Markus Zusak again, and I promise The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger are absolutely lovely and definitely worth reading.

PS The Polish translators decided to call it “My so-called life” 🙂


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