Saturday Read: I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak

Firstly – Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your New Year’s Eve was both as eventful and wonderful as mine. And I hope that you’ve made a very important resolution: to read more! Admit it, you have some time before you hit the hay or with your morning coffee or while taking the bus around campus to pick up a novel and dig right into it. I find I learn more BIG lessons from books I’ve read for pleasure than my overpriced textbooks;  maybe the next book you pick up will teach you something important. So there is my plea and hopefully you’ll get some great recommendations from me over the next year!

Moving on….

I’ve had my eye on both of Markus Zusak’s books (Messenger and “The Book Thief“) for a while now, as they are super popular teen books. Now that I’ve got a ton of free time on my hands, I finally picked up “I Am The Messenger.” The book is the story of Ed Kennedy, a 19 year old cab driver who is basically going nowhere. His life revolves around his dog, the doorman and his 3 friends, Audrey, Marv and Ritchie. One day, Ed finds himself stopping a bank robbery and shortly after he starts to receive strange messages. His first message arrives on an ace of diamonds (yes, like from a deck of cards) with 3 addresses and times. Ed visits these locations and soon realizes that he must assist the occupants in some way, whether it being simply keeping them company or saving them from abuse (I won’t give away too much!). Once he completes those three tasks, another card arrives for him, sending him on another adventure. Then another. With every card, the tasks gets more difficult and Ed must decipher the message to determine his three targets. Along the way, Ed realizes lots of important lessons and eventually becomes more than a dead-end cab driver – he becomes a message.

I found this book totally engrossing, gripping me from the beginning. I literally could not put it down at one point, which is a rare event for me. Zusak is a fantastic writer and developed all the characters perfectly. His imagination also impressed me; I don’t know if I could ever come up with such an inventive and clever story. And, corny as it may be, I learned a lot. It’s great when a book can make you take a step back and evaluate what is important to you and “I Am The Messenger” did just that. As Ed realizes that his life can be so much more, I counted the blessings in my own life, from having a loving family to the opportunity to get an education.

“I Am The Messenger” is a great book for the New Year. What better way to kick off a new year than by taking note of all your good fortune and making some resolutions to make your life that much better? This is a feel-good book that delivers its message with a punch.

Start 2010 off right and pick it up.

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