Sunday, 4 October 2015

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak | Book Review

*All opinions expressed in this review are all my personal opinions which have not been influenced or paid for by any outside party.*

I Am The Messenger by Marcus Zusak
Published by: Definitions
Genres: Mystery, YA (but more than suitable for older readers).
Star rating; 5 out of 5 
Pages: 459

Summary (from the back of the book):
"Ed Kennedy is an underage cab driver 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 (where necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?"

"It's impeccable how brutal the truth can be at times. You can only admire it." (page 393)
The only way I can think to describe this book is a gem. It is one of those reads that is simply perfect as it is. I am always looking for a stand alone book that is able to be just that, a single book. Honestly, series annoy me, especially when the first book rounded up the story perfectly. Unfortunately, I often find amazing stand alone books (that stay stand alone's), hard to find. 

'I Am The Messenger' was exactly what I was looking for and more. It had a thrilling, often on the edge of your seat plot (with just enough softer ,touching parts to not be overdone), believable and likeable characters and a coffee-drinking dog! What more could you ask for?

The story, from the bestselling author of 'The Book Thief', follows 19-year-old under-age cab driver, Ed Kennedy. Throughout the novel, Ed goes through huge character development. He goes from a being of routine, content in the ordinary foundation of his life, to a figure of human kindness and conscience, Through helping others, he becomes the person he always needed to be. 
"If I ever leave this place' - I swallow - 'I'll make sure I'm better here first." (page 365)

A theme that runs through this book is the power of decisions. Through Ed's requirement to make decisions based on the playing cards he receives, Zusak exemplifies how every decision, no matter how small, has repercussions. In the book, I found that many of my favourite moments were based on Ed dealing with the repercussions of his decisions, rather than making the decisions themselves. Something that stood out to me and impacted me the most was how the decisions Zusak's protagonist made, created a chain reaction. I think what really interested me was how real the problems Ed was expected to solve were. As readers, we are faced with such a powerful yet entertaining plot, where you begin to follow the chain, link by link even after you've stopped reading.

"Things just keep going as long as memory can wield its axe, always finding a soft part in your mind to cut through and enter." (page 344)
The person behind Ed's mission is similar, in my opinion, to Orwell's Big Brother from his 'Nineteen Eighty- Two'. They are aware of every step Ed makes and, like Big Brother, is always watching!

Overall I adored this book. Its captivating plot and set of amiable characters sets it apart from the rest of its genre and would make a perfect read for a book-club. My only plight with this novel is the ending, when the identity of the person behind the messages is revealed. I don't want to give too much away, so all I will say is that it felt a little rushed and disappointing. Of course this is purely based on my own personal opinion, and if you have or plan to read this book then please let me know your own opinions in the comments.

"I didn't know words could be so heavy." (page 272)

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