I Am the Messenger - by Marcus Zusak
I Am the Messenger

"the sign of a truly great author - he leaves you wanting more."

Ed Kennedy is a run-of-the-mill stereotypical loser.  He has no direction, no dreams and no ambitions. The only things important to him are his dog and his best friend whom he is in love with.  His life is an uneventful ritual until he unintentionally stops are bank robbery.  Little does he know that this singular event will change his life forever; little does he know that stopping the bank robbery will lead to his receiving the first ace; and little does he know that this event will make him the messenger.

The mysterious guru behind Ed's mission has chosen to contact him through the ace which, in a sense, becomes a calling card for a new mission.  A list of names, addresses, or items appear on these cards.  It is Ed's job to decipher the code and deliver his message. Many people are willing and thankful for their message; however, many are not.  He continues to deliver the messages to people all over town until he stops and realizes that he has changed.  In many ways, this story is a bildungsroman.  It follows Ed Kennedy's journey to manhood.  This tale intertwines the need for purpose, the need for companionship, and the need for acceptance into one incredible story.

The writing style of Markus Zusak is captivating and very appealing.  Though he drones his way though the first few chapters to give some essential background information, don't put the book down.  It gets better; I promise.  I myself put it down and traveled slowly until I got about a sixth of the way through the book. Then the speed picked up and I sincerely regretted not powering through the background information.  

I do have to criticize his ending.  It was not terrible, but it wasn't great either.  I do not feel the ending did the story justice.  I feel as if the ending was an excuse to try and quickly end the book.  I wanted more, but I guess that's the sign of a truly great author:  He leaves you wanting more.

    - Haley P.