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Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)
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Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers #1-3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,157 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are champions at getting into fights, coming up with half-baked schemes, and generally disappointing girls, their parents, and their much more motivated older siblings. They're intensely loyal to each other, brothers at their best and at their very worst. But when Cameron falls head over heels for Ruben's girlfriend, the strength of their bond is te ...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Markus Zusak is arguably one of the best contemporary YA authors, as evidenced by his internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Book Thief. It was a pleasure to read this trilogy as it chronicles the first three works of the author before his literary fame.

The Underdog is the shortest story of the three, and while lacking in some aspects it is an intriguing first act of Underdogs trilogy and whets the reader’s appetite for a taste of the resilient Wolfe Family. Fighting Ruben Wolfe delves deepl
Dawn Teresa
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
Originally posted on my blog, Read Love

The Book Thief was no fluke. It was the culmination of years of work and growth from a gifted writer. When I began reading the first book in Underdogs, fearful that it would prove to be vastly inferior to The Book Thief (one of my all-time favorite books), I found real and rapid assurance that the hand that authored that masterpiece also wrote these words. In The Underdog, originally published in 1999 (and his first work), Markus Zusak's talent and unique s

I know THE BOOK THIEF is the one that all kiddies rave about, and don't get me wrong: that is a brilliant book and I love it. But then I discovered GETTING THE GIRL, which led me to find FIGHTING RUBEN WOLFE, which brings us here, to the first US publication of THE UNDERDOG, contained in this omnibus of all three Wolfe brothers books. If you don't, from the first chapter of THE UNDERDOG (or any of the other two, really), fall madly in love with the endearingly awkward and yet strange
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Come on, people, this is Zusak we're talking about and while, yes, I love his entirely unique writing style, I adore his beautifully honest stories with their sweet messages even more. This little story doesn't have some huge event or a climactic ending, it doesn't have some whirling plot that keeps us turning pages but will be forgotten not long after the last page is read. It's about life, and the lessons we can glean from it. Sure, Cameron couldn't talk to girls and Ruben and he were pretty u ...more
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
I am not afraid. I will admit it. I have a new book crush. His name is Cameron. He is geeky and shy and he has a heart of gold. What is not to love? I will add that in the intro Mr. Zuzak admitted he is Cameron so by default I guess my crush also carries to him (Who are we kidding... I love Markus too. I mean who can resist an accent?)

What is it about Aussie writers? Even in their earlier books that are not as polished (such as this one) they have you laughing one minute and wanting to bawl you
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I finished this at last! And over all, I really enjoyed it. The first book of the anthology was a bit rough and uneventful, but I thought the second and third books were a lot better, and I could definitely see Markus Zusak's writing improve over the course of the trilogy. There were times when I thought the style (especially the dialogue) got kind of pretentious/annoying, but for the most part I loved the way they were written. And by the end I felt very attached to the Wolfe family and felt li ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing to note is that this is an omnibus of The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl. The second thing to note is that they're Markus Zusak's very first novels. The writing style we all loved in The Book Thief didn't just spring magically from a first effort, and Underdogs is definitely representative of the journey this author's writing grew through.

The biggest issue with The Underdog is that it's plot-less. This leaves it all up to Cameron to capture our interest, whic
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On TCM there’s a segment where Peter O’Toole reflects upon his experiences working with David Lean in Lawrence of Arabia. O’Toole remembers one particular scene where Lean asks him to complete five minutes of mime for the scene where Lawrence tries on, for the first time, that white robe in the desert. Not knowing what to do, O’Toole thinks about it, and then remembers the dagger he has sheathed on his waist. As the film starts rolling, O’Toole uses the dagger as a mirror to look at himself and ...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
All three books in one volume? YES!!!
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fiction, arc
I don’t know what it is with me and omnibuses… omnibusseses… omnibi? Anything that’s packaged as a complete set, be it made up of novels or comics, tends to attract my attention these days. This particular omnibus appeared to me out of nowhere, and didn’t do anything for me at first. Somewhere between when I started it and when I finished it, though, it crept up on me and became one of my favorite recent reads. It’s a meandering, quirky coming-of-age story that is funny and heartbreaking by turn ...more
Eli Lindsey
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book very much. In the beginning I was very skeptical because the plot seemed to be going nowhere but as it got going, it progressed greatly. This story is just one of those feel good books, in the end the little man gets what he wants and triumphs over the big man. My favorite character in the book is Reuben, he is the one everyone likes but still doesn't show it in his day to day life. He is also nice to his brother Cameron, even though Cameron is not as good of a boxer as he. Thi ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2011
G'day, mates. This here's the story of Cameron Wolfe. OK, THREE stories of Cameron Wolfe. Once upon a time they were little known novels by a little known YA writer from Down Under. Title of the books? The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. Title of the author? Markus Zusak. Reason that sounds familiar? The Book Thief.

And that's the reason Scholastic has put together these three books -- Zusak's sensational success with the Holocaust sleeper, The Book Thief. Some of the books
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Underdogs is an omnibus volume of Markus Zusak;s three novels about the Wolfe brothers, Ruben and young narrator Cameron.

The first novel - The Underdog - is noticeably the weakest of the three, and was in fact Zusak's first novel. There's really little to say about it, except that so little happens in it that I am a bit surprised that it was even published. It basically sets the stage for the two novels that follow.

But it is followed by Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and that is a horse of another (extr
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would want to be a fighter? This book is a story about two brothers that always get into fights. They're not that close with their other siblings but themselves. One day a street boxing promotor heard about Ruben Wolfe beating up a guy in school for calling his sister inappropriate names. When the promotor talked with Ruben to get him to fight, Ruben also told him about his brother Cameron Wolfe that he should fight too. Ruben starts taking this seriously because he wants to be a fighter even th ...more
Jen Scott
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to do a three part review for this book, because I read all three novels at different times. The first one is for Underdog: Out of all of the Markus Zusak books I've read, this one was my least favorite. I felt like it didn't have as much direction as his other books, and there was no "wow" factor for me. But, nevertheless, this is Markus Zusak we're talking about, and he is a beautiful writer, so I enjoyed reading it.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe: I had the awesome experience of reading this t
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could relate to this story right from the beginning. Though the main character is 15, the things he is going through right now sort of relate to any average teenager (love, relationships etc). I really like how the story talks about the main character (Cameron)'s brother and how they are still having fun together even after they have fights and arguments (that was mostly what related to me). This book is good for people who want to know what it is like going through a teen's life but it goes i ...more
Tatiana N
Это история про :

миссис Вульф
мистера Вульфа

про поиски себя
про голод
про дружбу
про семью
про любовь

— Ты можешь утонуть во мне, когда захочешь, Кэмерон, — сказала она и, как тогда, прикоснулась губами к моим губам и плавно потекла через мой рот. Листки оставались у меня в руках, прижатые к ее бедрам, и я чувствовал, как, нависнув сверху, она вдыхает меня.

Мистера Зусака и его героев не возможно не любить. Пишет Зусак красиво, просто и трогательно. Книгу можно разобра
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, Zusak is a genius at writing and that was the main force to keep me reading. Out of the three books I liked the third one the most. However, the more I read the more meaningful and different the book became. My actual rating is 3.5. If you're a fan of the book thief and/or the messenger then you may want more Zusak in his beginning years. Warning: Peculiar, but worthy
Maureen E
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
All three Wolfe novels. The last, Getting the Girl is by far my favorite, though the tidiness of the resolution bothered me just a little. But I was invested enough in Cameron at that point to not really mind. [Oct. 2011]
Deb Stern
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could have counted this as three separate books, as they were written. However, to really feel the full effect, this needs to read as one continuous novel. Zusak speaks of layers from life experiences and every one of his books shows pieces of his layers. Audible version really good.
A very short, simple little book but it shows that Marcus Zusak has what it takes to be a really good author and later he proved this with The Book Thief. Underdogs is not really my kind of book but I enjoyed it for what it was.
K. McDevitt
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd read Fighting Ruben Wolfe before, so when I saw this collection of all three books (that one being the middle one) I grabbed it. It was a slow read for me for some reason, but I did enjoy it. I got to meet Cameron Wolfe for the first time (again) in the first story, "The Underdog," and really get to know him. And I got to see him really come into his own in the third story, "Getting the Girl." Born into a working class family, Cameron has a lot of hopes of making something of himself, but is ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I had to choose my favorite relationship in this book, it would definitely be Steve and Cam. That one broke my heart and filled it again the most.

That said, I love books about family and ones that focus on brothers. It reminded me of The Outsiders so therefore, I recommended this book for anyone who enjoyed that book.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Markus Zusak has earned a place at the top of my list of favorite authors. If you haven't read The Book Thief, do. Read my review of it first though--I think you should know some things before you start. Read I am the Messenger too.

Once you've read those, you're going to want more Markus Zusak--at least I did. Luckily I discovered Underdogs. It is a compilation of the first three books Zusak published. Originally published in his native Australia, they have only recently become available to rea
Relebohile Ntshingila
Actual rating is 3.5 Stars.
Hazel West
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I decided to just review this addition so I can review all three books together in order to compare them. They were, of course, brother stories, and that always makes me enjoy things so much more and I really did love reading about the Wolfe brothers.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Meh, it's okay. Nothing really special, but I do like silhouettes as opposed to character impersonators.

Characters: These are definitely character driven stories, so having good characters is very im
Albert Riehle
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an omnibus edition of the 3 continuous books in the Cameron Wolfe series and as an omnibus I'm giving it 4 stars because I have to judge it all together. It's worth noting that if there were half-stars I'd give it 4.5 though. It's also worth noting that the last two books, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl are definite 5 star works. It's the first book, Underdog that brings the rating down. And Underdog isn't bad. It's simply a first book and it's not as good as the other two. It ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d like to preface this with the fact that I adore everything Zusak has ever written (I can’t wait for whenever Bridge of Clay comes out because Lord knows I’ve been waiting long enough). But with I’d like to call attention to the little known Underdogs omnibus, consisting of three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. I know one of the complaints about this series is that they aren’t written exactly like the way I Am the Messenger or The Book Thief is written, but yo ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first story of this trilogy - Underdog - is a bit boring, but hang in for the rest of this tale because it gets better and better. The relationships are touching and Cameron is a character to remember.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s, male-pov
This is a book boys everywhere are sure to enjoy. It's filled with lots of boyish things like hair brained schemes that go awry, girls, blood, guts, girls, mysterious smells, action, girls, fighting, and did I mention girls? There's talking about girls, thinking about girls, writing about girls, girls, girls, girls! So it's not all about girls but hey, that's what occupies a teen boy's mind 24/7 pretty much. The main difference between Cameron Wolfe and his brother Ruben is, Cameron wants to fin ...more
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Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there to this day.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (al
More about Markus Zusak...

Other Books in the Series

Wolfe Brothers (3 books)
  • Underdog (Wolfe Brothers, #1)
  • Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers, #2)
  • Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3)
“Very quickly, very suddenly, words fell through my mind. They landed on the floor of my thoughts, an in there, down there, I started to pick the words up. They were excerpts of truth gathered from inside me.
Even in the night, in bed, they woke me.
They painted themselves onto the ceiling.
They burned themselves onto the sheets of memory laid out in my mind.
When I woke up the next day, I wrote the words down , on a torn-up piece of paper. And to me, the world changed color that morning.”
“Steve, on the other hand, has plenty of friends, but he wouldn't bleed for any of them, because he wouldn't trust them to bleed for him. In that way he's just as alone as me.” 2 likes
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