My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I must confess that I started reading this particular novel after reading Markus Zusak’s literary masterpiece (or so I think anyway), “The Book Thief.” I wanted to read more of Zusak’s previous novels that made him a recognized name in young adult fiction and I came across this one, “I Am the Messenger.”
Originally titled “The Messenger” when first published in Australia (Zusak’s home country), this is a story of a nineteen-year-old cab driver named Ed Kennedy who seemed to have no aspirations or interest in his future adult life who simply became a nobody in to a somebody. It all started with a robbery in which he prevented, and from then on, he receives strange messages in a form of four aces from your deck of cards. Each of the messages in those aces prompted him to make differences in the lives of others. Ed may have seemed reluctant in the beginning, but eventually, he began to find ways to care about the lives of total strangers.
I really loved the character development in this story, just like in “The Book Thief,” most especially with our narrator/main character, Ed. I figured that most, if not all, of Zusak’s works are all in first-person point of view. This novel made me laugh in the beginning, witnessing the scenery of your average (Australian) young adult life, but as the story progresses, there will be moments that would make you cry.
The ending was quite a twist, and somehow, it gave me sometime to think of the entire point of this story. Maybe that was one reason why I didn’t give the full five stars to this one compared to “The Book Thief,” which was really clear and direct to the point right at the conclusion. Other than that, this is another recommended read for all avid readers, not just for young adults or fans of young adult fiction.