Review Detail

Underdogs Featured
Young Adult Fiction 2966
Under Dogs
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
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 find love, and it all starts with a trip to the dentist…

This story is the coming of age journey of Cameron Wolfe, the youngest of four in a hard working, blue collar family from Australia who struggles to find himself not only in his own family but in the world around him. His oldest brother Steve is deemed the "winner", next comes his sister, Sarah who is popular with the boys and then there's Ruben, Cameron's other brother and best friend. He's also his only friend as Cameron's a bit of a loner. Cameron spends most of his time getting caught up in all kinds of mischief with Ruben, much of it involving either their backyard boxing game of "One Punch" or the neighbor's dog, "Miffy". He can't seem to break away from his brother's shadow and where Ruben is outgoing, good looking and anything but shy, Cameron is the opposite and often takes solace in his "words", the thoughts and feelings he pens to paper but keeps secret from everyone.

"In Fighting Ruben Wolfe" and "Getting the Girl", changes begin to take place both within the family as well as the relationship between Cameron and Ruben. The boys find themselves involved in an illegal boxing arena that strengthens their brotherly bond only to have it challenged a few months later by a certain girl. Tensions grow in the house and this becomes a turning point for Cameron whose words become stronger, even if only on paper and he slowly begins to see himself for who he really is and who he can be. Both boys learn lessons about pride and the difference between being a "winner" versus a "fighter" with Ruben explaining it this way, "Yeah, anyone can stop you being a winner. Only you yourself can make you stop fighting." Ruben Wolfe

The boys have a serious falling out and are eventually brought back together by two particularly heart wrenching scenes, one involving a yappy ball of fur and the other is a rescue worthy of a "Best Brother Ever" award. By the end of the book, the boys are still close, but a shift has taken place and new respect has been earned. It becomes clear that neither Cameron nor Ruben stands in anyone's shadow. They've both realized that they don't have to live up to the standard the world has set for them, only the standard they've set for themselves and they're fighters and fighters keep fighting until you can't get back up.

Good Points
Cameron and Ruben have a strong brotherly bond. The Wolfe family as a whole sticks together even when things are tough.
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