I have to say right up front that I’m biased in favor of this book. I’ve read it more than once. It’s one of my favorites.
I Am The Messenger is classified in the Young Adult genre, but it’s a great read no matter how old you are. The novel tells the story of a nineteen-year-old cabdriver named Ed Kennedy. Ed is the epitome of normal. He drives cabs, plays cards with his friends, and has an elderly dog named The Doorman. Really, he’s going nowhere in life.
But that changes one day when he stops a man from robbing a bank. Soon afterward he gets an ace in the mail and is sent on a series of errands that will change both his life and the lives of the people around him.
Zusak writes beautifully. My favorite part about this book is the little snippets of imagery that take your breath away with beauty. They’re little moments of loveliness that you just can’t forget, like an old lady swinging her too-short legs on a bench or of a girl running barefoot at five-thirty AM.
More than that, Zusak writes with humanity. We meet many characters in this book, and each of them have been breathed into life by Zusak’s careful pen. Many are loveable and relatable but many are also idiots or slobs or hypocrites. But the bottom line is that ALL of them are real, as if they could jump off the page at any second. And readers get the privilege of seeing every single one of these characters’ lives changed in the course of the book.
There are so many moments enclosed in these pages that hurt like the dickens emotionally, that make you want to cry, but so many moments also warm your heart enough to make you want to start singing “kumbaya” while holding hands around a campfire. Not in a cheesy or ironic way, either. Just in a way that celebrates the beauty of simplicity.
The best part of all this is Ed’s normality. He is chosen to be the Messenger but that has nothing to do with any sort of remarkable character on his part. He simply helps people because he has to, showing that any “specialness” is not needed to make a difference. It’s the action that matters.
Tl;dr: read this book.
This is one of the books that I polled Dumblebee.com users about! Be sure to check over there to put in future input about what I should put on my blog!