Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday YA book review: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

From the publisher:

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?

My thoughts:

Although The Book Thief is Zusak's hit novel, I really like his earlier books. It's hard to find YA with a strong guy protagonist, and Zusak nails these every time.

I Am The Messenger is gritty, and would technically fall in the New Adult category here in the States (Ed has graduated high school, even if he sort of stalled out since). I liked the mystery of the cards, of the messages, and of the muscle dudes coming to beat Ed up. There's plenty of humor, and the whole novel hinges on character, which is what makes it so great.

Loved Ed's dog, the Doorman.

I Am The Messenger is one of those books that transcends genre classifications like YA, mystery, whatever. It's just a great book. Highly recommend for anyone over fourteen.


  1. As a HUGE fan of The Book Thief, this book always stands out for me in the bookstore and begs me to buy it. I haven't yet, but it is surely on the docket for my summer reading list. Thanks for the rec!

  2. What's interesting is how Australian YA doesn't seem bound by our (as in U.S.) typical guidelines as far as protag age, violence, etc.--at least not in this book's case.

  3. I have not read this one, and now I definitely will. It sounds interesting and I like the author's style. Thanks so much for sharing your honest review. I can't believe I haven't read anything else by Zusak, even though I loved The Book Thief.

  4. I believe his others are FIGHTING REUBEN WOLF and another, with the same characters. Great guy protagonists, nice brother story.