I Am the Messenger Review
Ed Kennedy is a hopeless, underage cab driver who isn’t the most motivated person in town. His life revolves around driving a cab, playing cards with his friends, and living with his dog, The Doorman. This life, however, changes when he somehow stops a bank robbery. He receives his first ace that gives him three different addresses, giving him a mission: to live beyond what he is capable of.
I Am the Messenger is one of the most unique YA books I have ever read. I know I mentioned this a lot in my reviews (i.e. *title* is not a typical book), but now I am writing this utterly. It is a book about helping and changing lives one way or another, and it is delivered in ways that are not so typical. Ed’s mission is to help people who “suffer” in their own ways, and even though it might sound ordinary, it will give you a different feeling when you read the book itself. The idea of Ed helping out people is simple, but somewhat captivating and rewarding to read. When Ed helps someone or a group of people and does his task, there’s always a feeling of accomplishing and giving that Ed gets, and that readers also feel. There are also points that get emotional, especially in the latter parts of the book. Characters unfold from one-sided to three-dimensional ones, which is challenging for a writer to do properly. I guess this is what I liked most, though: Ed delivers messages that can make you feel for characters and connect with them in even deeper ways, as if you yourself get the joys of seeing (or reading) them happy. (My favorite is Cat Ballou.) Each accomplishment is heartwarming, and it’s just wonderful how I can feel happiness for characters that don’t even exist. What’s also amazing is how Zusak can do this in a manner that is gripping and even thrilling, because behind this giving is a mystery of who’s behind the aces.
The mystery, however, it is where I am unfortunately disappointed at. I won’t spoil anything here, but let’s just say that the whole revelation in the ending was weak. It’s good for some readers, but it really just isn’t my thing. Personally, there are certainly better ways to end the novel instead of giving a “forced” ending. Heck, I’d go for a cliffhanger if necessary. I admit it was out of the ordinary, but I’m not really a fan of the “literary device” that Zusak used.
To add, it was rewarding whenever Ed accomplishes his tasks, but that’s just it: he accomplishes whatever he needs to do in such a smooth and nice way. There aren’t much hardships nor complications, which I expected from the latter aces. I know helping shouldn’t be a burden, but one thing I know about life is that even if you try to do good, there will always be something that will get in the way. For Ed, though, nothing really major got in the way from accomplishing his tasks; they were all too easy for him.
As much as I loved the entire book, the ending didn’t really go well for me, which is a downer. It’s still one of my favorites, though, and I would really recommend it. It has a really nice message, and if you have a good heart, it will definitely keep you up.