Sheila Deeth, October 24, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
If you’re looking for a novel like The Book Thief, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a seriously intriguing read, with a seriously irreverent layabout teen lead character, and a mystery that draws you deeper into inexplicable strangeness, even as the message remains disguised, then look no further. This card-player’s cryptic cards will lead Ed on a chase through character and plot, making even the most disturbing scene seem uplifting or even redeeming. Meanwhile the truth behind Ed's mission stays deviously disguised.
These teens drink and swear---it’s part of what makes them real, and it’s not gratuitous. They live half-wasted lives in that wasteland before adulthood. They cope with disappointing parents and parental disappointment, and struggle to heal from lack of direction or hope. Meanwhile the protagonist learns that both young and old have problems of their own. He learns to care. And he learns to see what's needed while others are blind.
The question, of course, is what hope is there for him, if he’s just the messenger. And the answer? You’ll have to read it to find out. Aimed at older, mature teens, and wonderfully enthralling and revealing for adults too, I Am The Messenger offers a wonderful message in a story that won’t let go.
Disclosure: I loved the Book Thief and I knew this would be different, but I love this too.
mizmeliss87, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by mizmeliss87)
I love Markus Zusak's writing style. He writes as his characters would think and talk. The book is written from the perspective of a 19 year old Australian boy who is trying to figure out his place in the world. He is a flawed character who makes mistakes, takes forever to act, and can retreat far into himself. His flaws make him human and his struggles make the reader think. This book challenges readers to think beyond a good story and to ask the tough ethical questions of the grey areas in life. As Ed Kennedy struggles to answer the questions of "who am I?" and "What the hell am I doing with my life?" the reader in turn asks the same questions. Ed is challenged in the story but at the same time, he challenges readers as well.
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pixie cat, April 8, 2008 (view all comments by pixie cat)
A remarkable story and amazingly addictive. Really tells you that sometimes the smallest acts of love can really change another person’s world. For the better.
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queen_normajeane, March 10, 2008 (view all comments by queen_normajeane)
This book is one of the best books I've ever read. It's powerful, funny, and deep all at once. "You don't complain when I give you a lift to work, Ed, you miserable upstart." "What the hell's an upstart?"
Thumbs up to Zusak. I fell in love with his writing!
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Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers -
by Jill S.,
I've got to hand it to Australian author Markus Zusak: this book single-handedly made me want to be a better person. As a lifelong reader, I feel a book like this, one that can really change people, comes around so rarely that Zusak must be recognized as the innovative and fascinating author he is.
by Jill S.
by School Library Journal,
"Zusak's characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere..."
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"...Zusak succeeds brilliantly."
by KLIATT, Starred,
"Funny, engrossing, and suspenseful."
by The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, (Starred Review),
"A touching and intriguing exploration of the need to live one's life significantly, to value the richness knowing one another brings along with its terrible vulnerability."
"[A] wild ride of a novel..."
"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Jesse Andrews
U. S. GRAND JURY PRIZE: DRAMATIC and AUDIENCE AWARD: U.S. DRAMATIC winner at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.
Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.
Praise for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“One need only look at the chapter titles (“Let’s Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”) to know that this is one funny book.”
–Booklist, starred review
“A frequently hysterical confessional...Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being. Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.”
"Mr. Andrews' often hilarious teen dialogue is utterly convincing, and his characters are compelling.Greg's random sense of humor, terrible self-esteem and general lack of self-awareness all ring true. Like many YA authors, Mr. Andrews blends humor and pathos with true skill, but he steers clear of tricky resolutions and overt life lessons, favoring incremental understanding and growth."
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Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
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YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Markus Zusak is the author of I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has been translated into over thirty languages and has sold nine million copies around the world. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.