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Review: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

in a sentence or so: Ed Kennedy receives a playing card in the mail with a series of addresses on it. thus beings his life as the messenger.

there's nothing remarkable about Ed. he's the youngest child of a family who lost their father to alcoholism. he's a 19 year old cab driver with three good friends he plays cards with about once a week. he has an incredibly smelly and loyal dog affectionately named The Doorman that he inherited from his late father. nothing really sets Ed Kennedy apart. which is why he can't figure out why it's him, of all people, that gets an ace of diamonds with three addresses and time of day written on it, in his mailbox.

slowly, Ed gains the confidence to go to each of these addresses and finds something very different happening at each location. is he really supposed to do something within the lives of these people? why him? why now? Ed's full of questions, and not getting any answers. the only thing he can do is deliver the message...once he figures out what that message is.

i read and fell in love with The Book Thief, just like everyone else who's read it, ever. i'm sad that there was something holding me back from reading I Am The Messenger up until now. honestly, the title AND the cover weren't particularly appealing to me. yet, i knew i'd be doing a lot of driving over a two week time frame, and i wanted an audiobook to keep me company. I Am The Messenger was available.

i took a chance.

i'm so glad i did.

this book has left me reeling. it starts with an ace of diamonds. Ed completes those messages. Ed then gets the next ace, and you know that it's going to be three messages...but it's presented in a different way. each task presents a new challenge and a new part of Ed is discovered. his inner musings mature and grow along with his tasks.

Ed's personality and voice are what made this book absolutely astounding for me. his character and the ending that i cannot possibly even hint at because it will compromise your experience completely have left me a total fangirl of this work. (if you have read this book, however, please let me know so we can talk about it and all of the implications...i can't stop thinking about it!)

there's so much to love about this book. the fact that our main character is a 19 year old male is a great change of pace, but the whole idea driving the book is so fresh and different that i was instantly captivated. Ed is faced with impossible challenges...yet he meets them. Ed is so ordinary...yet he finds the strength to be extraordinary.  sincerely, the ending of this book is intense, emotional, and brought about a complete epiphany within me - which is exactly the point the author was trying to drive home, i expect.

Markus Zusak, you are a genius. your turns of phrase and your vivid imagery and the emotions you draw out of your characters and your readers are beyond anything i could have anticipated. thank you for writing literature of this magnitude for the YA literature market.

fave quote: since i listened to this on audiobook, i'm not able to draw an exact quote. all i can tell you is Zusak takes his time to phrase things Just Right and everything that is said is worth saying, and therefore, worth reading.

fix er up: near the end of the book, there was a lot of summation that i didn't feel was necessary. it was nice to hear Ed recap the events...just not necessary and felt a little heavy.

title: I Am The Messenger
author: Markus Zusak
publishing info: Random House, 2007
audiobook info: narrated by Marc Aden Gray (who was AMAZING) by Listening Library
genre: Contemporary, Edgy, Mystery, Drama

[ftc notice: i received a copy of this audiobook from my library. i did not receive compensation of any kind for this review. thanks, library!]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I've been wanting to read this for a long time now, particularly since I'm doing the Award Winning Reads Challenge. I have a super special place in my heart for The Book Thief and I'm sure I will love this one too.

    Believe it or not (I only believe it because I was HERE, dude.) Mike the Hubby DNF'd The Book Thief. He "just couldn't get into it." He said it was boring. I sit here now shaking my head as I type this. I love that man to pieces but I believe this tiny tidbit of literary difference and conflict will be a barrier between he and I forever (haha).

    I love the way the cover is read but I'm not so sure I'm sold on the rest of the cover. Except that nice, shiny award. I do so love a book with an award. :)


  2. yeah, my hubs didn't love The Knife of Never Letting Go. it's impossible to me, but there you have it. we don't talk about it, which is totally healthy and all.

    but truthfully, i do hope you get around to this book soon. it's amazing.

  3. I agree that the ending of I Am The Messenger was a bit heavy-handed, but that major game changer was a definite jaw-dropper that just made me love the book even more!!

    I love the message that Zusak sends, turning his ordinary characters that are--just like us--perfectly content with avoiding the most pressing problems, issues, and injustices around us into people that address these problems and become better people in the process.

    Sorry that this is the longest comment ever written!!

    PS: How could your hubs not love The Knife of Never Letting Go?! That might be a deal breaker...


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