Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.
In the echoes of light in my lounge room, I let my fingers hold the card gently, as if it might break or crease in my hands. Three addresses are written on it in the same writing as on the envelope. I read them slowly, watchfully. There's an eeriness slipping over my hands. It makes its way inside me and travels, quietly gnawing at my thoughts.
- I Am the Messenger
Warning: Spoilers down under. (Haha, get it? Because they're in Australia and Zusak is Australian? Oh, bad puns.)
I Am the Messenger is about a young man (19) who begins receiving aces in the mail after stopping a bank robbery. These aces have clues on them that our protagonist, Ed Kennedy, must figure out in order to move on to the next ace.
This book was witty, clever and humorous. Ed, his friends and many supporting characters were just a bunch of fun to read because of their sarcasm, snark and sass. While it does make them fun, it also doesn't make sense in terms of their intellect: Ed and co. snark the gunman of the bank robbery, who -- I will repeat for sake of emphasis despite redundancy -- is wielding a gun! I don't care how incompetent or useless you say this gunman is, you do not snark someone with a loaded gun. Common Sense 101, guys.
Aside from their foray into stupidity, the rest of the book had some interesting stories courtesy of the aces. I liked the little clues, despite them not being very mysterious or overly complicated in their solutions. I also liked the way Ed dealt with them, tailoring each solution to each problem.
His friends were also interesting, when we eventually got to look at them head on for once. It kind of makes you think about how well you can know anyone, just based on what they don't want anyone to know (I'm talking about you, Marv). But then it also makes you wonder, how great of friends are they if they didn't even know that much about each other or couldn't say these things to each others' faces before the ace? What does this say about Ed as a friend? I don't really know.
But I do know that Ed as a friend in relation to Audrey is a terrible one. He's constantly harassing her with his feelings of love even though she's said she doesn't see him that way, whines about it to us as readers like every time she's mentioned in the book, and is always second-guessing her decisions for her. Great job, Ed. Just because you've been friendzoned doesn't mean it's Audrey's fault, it means it's your fault for not getting over her after ~3 years of nonreciprocation. I genuinely wish this book had focused on getting Ed over his unrequited love because, at this point, why would Audrey still want to be friends with him? Unsurprisingly, no dice, and the good guy (Ed) wins in the end (or wears Audrey down? Hmm).
I also find the ending to be a hit-and-miss with me. I wanted the mystery sender to be someone totally different, but it turned out to be a joke (in the sense that you'll get it once you read it, not in the "it was terrible" sense). I admit, it did make me crack a smile, but ultimately wasn't fitting with the story that had come before. It felt so out of place and wrongly integrated.
Oh, well. Still an enjoyable read.