Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Summary: Protect the diamonds
Survive the clubs
Dig deep through the spades
Feel the hearts

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?

Marissa's Review: It dawned on me the other day when I was looking through my favorites that I never actually wrote a full reaction to this book. The funny thing is that I actually read this almost exactly a year ago, which was around the time Hurricane Sandy happened. I never got the chance to type a review since we lost power for almost a week in a half, so I figured its very fitting to bring it back a year later. Plus, this is one of my favorite books and I always recommend this book. I've said this before and I'll say it over and over, I really truly believe that Markus Zusak is a genius. I mean, if The Book Thief alone doesn't convince you, then you definitely will be after reading this one. Even though this book was written before The Book Thief, I actually read this way after reading The Book Thief. Now, The Book Thief is one of those books I hold on a pedestal. It is literally one of my all-time favorites. So when I actually got around to reading this one, I was nervous. I was pretty much still reeling and I figured that it probably wouldn't be as good. Wrong. It's important to point out that you couldn't get two more different books than this one and The Book Thief. So its almost ridiculous to even try to compare the two together. I really liked this one though. 

My first initial reaction was that the ending was very abrupt. But then I re-read the last few pages, it really sunk in. I feel like there are many different angles people can take with this book (especially the ending) but the whole idea of this book is such a genius thing Markus Zusak came up with. Ed is basically just your regular guy who lives an extremely routine life and is trying to find some sort of meaning to it. He feels like he has always been a disappointment. When he stops the bank robbery, people finally notice him and declare him a hero. But Ed doesn't feel like one. So when he goes home and finds a card in his mailbox with three addresses on them, he is very confused. He visits each house and finds out that inside each house or place are people with all different stories. He starts to help out these people and as he does more and more cards are sent to him with different symbols like clubs, spades, and hearts. Each have a hidden meaning behind them. Not only is Ed helping people, but he is also learning things about the people he never even knew, people who he used to just pass by and even his friends who he sees and hangs out with everyday. 

But most importantly, he learns things about himself and as his feelings towards the world and his own life start to shift, he learns the true meaning behind the word hero. I think we can all take something from this book. I think this book should be one of those required reading books. This book really moved me though. All of the stories Ed learns from visiting the places on the cards were unique and very meaningful. There are so many things I love about this book and its really more of the little things in this book that I love the most. I really do think that everyone should read this and I definitely want to re-read it sometime. 

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