Friday, April 8, 2011

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I Am the Messenger Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic card player, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.


 First Look: ***** I really don't like the cover. The only reason I picked this up is because Markus Zusak wrote it, and I adored The Book Thief like you wouldn't believe.

Setting: *****
It was an average town. There wasn't anything special about it. At first I thought it took place in Britain because of the fact that nineteen-year-olds were drinking legally. But then a character mentioned that the weather was cold for this time of year, and they were surprised when they had to put on a sweatshirt. It was December.  Just to give you some perspective: where I live, twenty degrees below zero isn't out of the ordinay. Also, someone said something was the most whatever "in the Southern Hemisphere". So now I think it's Australia, but then again, it would've been nice if I didn't have to figure that out myself.

Characters: ***** 
At first, I hated the characters. All of them, in fact, except for Audrey and the Doorman (because he's a dog). All Ed did was complain about how pathetic he was, and none of the other characters were any less pathetic themselves. But after awhile I got to know them more, they got better. Ed grows on you throughout the book, especially after he starts delivering the messages.  They were so complex!

Plot: ***** 
Beautiful.  That's really all I can say.  It was perfectly paced and all that.  Some parts make you want to cry, while others make you wince, or clench your fists.  And then there's the ones that give you a nice, warm feeling.  I was eagerly awaiting, yet fearing the arrival of the next card.  Oh, and speaking of endings...I never would have seen that coming.  Wow.  It was stunning, people, yet it fit so perfectly.

Uniqueness: *****
Perfectly, awesomely unique.  Especially considering the ending.

Writing: *****  
Well, it's Markus Zusak, people.  The writing was incredible.  I love his use of one-line fragments.  I'm not sure what to say...you just have to read it to believe it.  It's awesome.

Likes:
The writing.  The incredible plot.  I also love the themes of how the little things in life are just as important as the big things.  There's such an incredible variety of emotions in this book.

Not-so-great:
The swearing.  It was so annoying.  You'd think an awesome writer like Zusak would be able to think of something more creative than the s-word over and over and over.  Yes, I know a lot of people talk like that, but it still annoys me to no end.

Total Score: *****
Okay, I love this. There's just so many aspects to this book: the mystery, the romance, the action, and more. It was a truly beautiful book with fabulous writing and a brilliant plot. There's no way to compare it to anything else because it's just so unique in its own way. If I were a teacher, this would be required reading.  If you liked The Book Thief, you should know that this is almost as good.  And I can nearly guarantee the ending will leave you speechless.

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