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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Hooke

Review of 'I Am the Messenger'

I Am the Messenger

By Markus Zusak, 2002, Macmillan

Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 👻👻👻👻 (4 out of 4 boos)

“Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.

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?”

What’s the main character like?

Who doesn’t feel like an Ed sometimes? Like you could be doing more with yourself, like your pet is the most important person in your life, like going through the motions is easier than trying something new. What’s great about this character is how he makes you want to be “chosen to care” as well, just to see how you’d hold up in his situation.

How scary is it?

I Am the Messenger is mysterious and exciting in a realistic way. It is not scary. But there is mature language, from cursing to discussions of sex.

Who might like this book?

If you like engaging, stylistic, beautiful writing, or characters who are less than perfect, or books with mysterious elements, then this book is for you.

What did I like best?

Ed often assumes the thoughts of his dog through italicized writing. I’m paraphrasing here, but the Doorman (the dog) would suddenly say something like, Hey, Ed, can I have some coffee? And it was funny and sweet every time.

What wasn’t my favorite?

Yes, Ed is a teenager (an older one), but I’m having trouble with this book’s YA label due to mature content. Ed and his friends behave like a bunch of young, unambitious, college-aged types, so I wonder if teen readers looking for books about people like themselves might be disappointed. Nonetheless, I think the book is appropriate for some teen readers and that they will like it as long as they’re not anticipating a high-school-themed drama.

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