Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Main Character: 19-year-old Ed Kennedy, a cab driver
Location: Australia
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction

Ed is a high school graduate who doesn't know what to do with the rest of his life. He is content to work as a cab driver and hang out with his friends. His mother is afraid he's going to waste his life just like his father did. Then Ed foils a bank robbery and is lauded as a hero. Shortly after, he receives a playing card with three addresses on it, each one representing a person who needs help. This help can take different forms--sometimes just by talking to and encouraging someone, sometimes by using violence even to the point of letting himself get beat up.

I like Ed and his friends. He starts out a slacker, but with the cards as motivation, he opens up his world and begins to realize his potential. All through this, he wonders who is sending him the cards, who is manipulating his life. The answer, when it comes, is an unsatisfying and self-conscious deus ex machina. But until that point, I found this book an engaging read. Because of language and violence, it is for the more mature YA reader.

No comments: