Thursday, October 1, 2015
I am the Messenger gets 4 Stars
You may have heard of Markus Zusak and you may have already read a book written by this author. The Book Thief, a book and book based movie, won a Printz Honor. The Printz Award, is given to the best books for teens. The Book Thief is a fantastic book.
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak is also another fantastic book. This book gets 4 out of 5 stars in my book review.
I thought the message of the book about finding yourself and becoming the amazing person you can become, b/c we all can be, is a great message, especially for teens to read and believe. I thought the concept of the story was unique and interesting.
Zusak is a great author with original works. I also think Zusak did a fantastic job with realistic character development and growth with Ed, the main character/narrator, specifically. His subtle growth made the story that much more relatable.
I will say that there is quite a bit of language in the beginning of the novel, but it actually lessens as the story progresses. The book also has alcohol throughout, and rape is mentioned, but not described in detail.
I did think the beginning of the book was powerful and well written; it captivates you as the reader. However, there were parts of the middle of the story that were confusing and a little boring at times. It just doesn't grab you the entire book. Though, the book is still fantastic.
I did find this quote below to be powerful; it is near the end of the book when Ed finds out why he had to deliver all of the messages.
"I did it because you are the epitome of ordinariness, Ed." He looks at me seriously, "And if a guy like you can stand up and do what you did for all those people, well, maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of." (page 353)
Amazon had the following book review from School Library Journal, one of my favorite book review journals:
"Nineteen-year-old cabbie Ed Kennedy has little in life to be proud of: his dad died of alcoholism, and he and his mom have few prospects for success. He has little to do except share a run-down apartment with his faithful yet smelly dog, drive his taxi, and play cards and drink with his amiable yet similarly washed-up friends. Then, after he stops a bank robbery, Ed begins receiving anonymous messages marked in code on playing cards in the mail, and almost immediately his life begins to swerve off its beaten-down path. Usually the messages instruct him to be at a certain address at a certain time. So with nothing to lose, Ed embarks on a series of missions as random as a toss of dice: sometimes daredevil, sometimes heartwarmingly safe. He rescues a woman from nightly rape by her husband. He brings a congregation to an abandoned parish. The ease with which he achieves results vacillates between facile and dangerous, and Ed's search for meaning drives him to complete every task. But the true driving force behind the novel itself is readers' knowledge that behind every turn looms the unknown presence - either good or evil - of the person or persons sending the messages. Zusak's characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere where unknowingly lost Ed Kennedy stumbles onto a mystery - or series of mysteries - that could very well make or break his life."
I am the Messenger is a great book for anyone 9th grade and up. High school students, college students, and adults, could all really get something out of this well written novel.
For any high school students looking to find a good book for an essay assignment, you could really draw a lot of depth and discussion topics from this novel.
Happy realistic fiction reading!