Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Review by Jayla from LadyBlueJay: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak


One of the things I hoped to do as part of my Markus Zusak Week celebration was to encourage a "brand new" Markus Zusak reader to go ahead and read one of his books and review their first impressions for us. It seems like everyone in my particular blogging circle is a huge fan already and has read one or more of his books, so I was hoping to find someone who had not, and to see what it would be like for them, reading one of his books for the first time.

Thankfully, Jayla from LadyBlueJay, jumped at the chance. She thought at first she'd go for reading The Book Thief, but decided instead on I am the Messenger. She is a graduate student and is VERY busy but still she managed to fit this in and write a review for me! I thank her for being so willing to participate despite life's craziness.

Here's her review:

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

This is my first Markus Zusak novel. I know. I know. You are probably thinking – what has taken you so long , Jayla? I am not really sure how to answer that question other than the fact that I just heard about this spectacular author when The Book Thief came out. My expectations for Markus Zusak were high. I've heard so many people talk about what an amazing writer he is. You know what – they are all right!

Ed Kennedy is pretty useless, or at least that is what he thinks. He works as an (underage) cab driver and romancing the ladies is not his forte. All this changes after he stops a bank robbery and suddenly becomes the hero of the town. Then he starts getting playing cards (each one is an ace) in the mail that have a list of names. Ed scopes out these people and makes an assumption to help them. There are a couple of cases where he has to make things right through violent means.

My first thoughts of Ed were that he was too hard on himself and that he didn't really seem to have that much going for him. He reminds me of a lot of the awkward guy friends I associated with in high school. Like Ed Kennedy, these guys were really great people but they just needed a shove in the right direction when it came to showing their potential and character. Markus Zusak created some of the most realistic characters I have read.

Markus Zusak is also one amazing writer. The mix of comedy and seriousness were a great blend for I am the Messenger. What I really liked about the writing was the ease in which it seemed to flow on the page. Everything clicked and made sense to the characters, time period, and location of the novel. It’s been a while since I've read a book that falls together so nicely.

And then there is the ending. I am not one of those people who give away the ending, but I will say that I really didn't expect that to come. But the ending is just one of the reasons that this novel is so great! The suspense and, ultimately, the resolution played out very well.

If you are like me and haven’t read a Markus Zusak novel, I think I am the Messenger is a great introduction to an amazing author! The characters, plot, and writing are what make this an exceptional piece of work! Markus Zusak has been added to my Authors To Read list.

What did you think of this novel?

--Jayla (LadyBlueJay)


Sounds like we have a new member of the fan club! Thanks so much Jayla for playing along here. And I'm so glad you liked it!

The first time I read this particular book I wasn't sure what I thought. I know I was concerned that it was being marketed as a teen book when to me it seems a bit too gritty for that group. And I don't think I even "got" the ending! (I'm especially slow sometimes!) But the second time around I was blown away by the deep an profound thoughts this kid has and by the overall powerful message of the book. Love it.

The week is quickly wrapping up! Don't forget to join in the conversations over at Jessica's (The Bluestocking Society) and here for chances to win both The Book Thief and I am the Messenger!

Also, be sure and check out Melissa's (Avid Reader Musings) report on seeing The Book Thief play in Chicago this last week!


  1. Yeah! Welcome to the ranks of fans - so happy you decided to try a Markus Zusak book.

  2. I'm so glad you liked it, another Zusak convert! Your review makes me want to re-read it.

  3. Thanks for introducing me to this wonderful author, Suey. I've been taking notes and adding books to my TBR pile since this week has started. Mark Zusak is a true talent! :-)

  4. I'm so glad you had a great experience reading a Markus Zusak book. I think I Am The Messenger is a great book to start with.

  5. I'm glad that you enjoyed I AM THE MESSENGER. I go back and forth between that and THE BOOK THIEF as my favorite one. :)



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