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I Am the Messenger

Average Rating 4.5
( 389 )
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(248)

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(30)

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(10)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately ne...
Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately needs a bath. And, he's in love with Audrey, a girl from a bad neighborhood, just like him, who also happens to be one of his best friends since forever. The thing is, Audrey doesn't know that Ed is in love with her, and worse yet, she says she doesn't believe in love.

One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy.

So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about?

This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure.

Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.

posted by TeensReadToo on November 1, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

Put it Down Mid-Book..

My librarian recommended this to me..I will never ask him to recommend a book to me again. First of all, I HATE putting down books after I start them, even if they're awful. This book however, I could not stand!
I started it and thought "it will get better.." It doesn'...
My librarian recommended this to me..I will never ask him to recommend a book to me again. First of all, I HATE putting down books after I start them, even if they're awful. This book however, I could not stand!
I started it and thought "it will get better.." It doesn't.
The perspective: drove me insane. "I sit at the table." Drives me crazy.
The language: OVER DRAMATIC. It killed me! (The guy made a overdramatic thought at every action. Not to mention, the main character isn't a character you'd like to know.)Originally, I didn't mind the main character. But he grew on me as a loser who has no aspirations in life.
**CAUTION** if you are a realistic person, do NOT read this book.
However, I'm sure some people will like this book. If you like over dramatic thoughts and "deep" language.. then go ahead. But don't say I didn't warm you!

posted by JRews on June 9, 2009

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  • Posted November 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

    Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately needs a bath. And, he's in love with Audrey, a girl from a bad neighborhood, just like him, who also happens to be one of his best friends since forever. The thing is, Audrey doesn't know that Ed is in love with her, and worse yet, she says she doesn't believe in love. <BR/><BR/>One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy. <BR/><BR/>So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about? <BR/><BR/>This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure. <BR/><BR/>Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.

    26 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ...........

    Markus Zusak is the best author ever-NO JOKE! The only book I can say is better than this one is The Book Thief (also by him). The story is perfect for finding yourself and realizing that you're not the only person in the world, and even though you think your life is bad there are other people in the world who are worse off than you. I love this book and not one person I know that's read it has disliked it.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES

    After having read and enjoyed Marcus Zusak's "The Book Thief" I decided to see what else he had out there. Lucky for me, I found this! I can say honestly, it is one of my favorite books and one of only two that I literally could not put down. I found myself up at two in the morning with half of the book still to go and all I could think was "I can finish it....I have to finish it!"<BR/><BR/>The story line is simple enough. A young man accidentally foils a bank robbery and because of that is singled out (by someone) to become a hero. They start sending him playing cards in the mail, each with three clues on it. He has to figure out the clues and do whatever needs doing. The results vary with everything from his befriending an old woman who has no one else left in her life, to stopping a man who has been beating his wife and child most of their lives. In the end, he learns a lot about himself.<BR/><BR/>It is an incredible, emotionally gripping roller coaster that will leave you thinking back on every decision you've made in your life and evaluating how it has affected you and those around you. It will challenge you by making you think about how you affect people around in your life. I highly recommend it for any teen or adult who loves the sort of book that you can't forget. This is a great book club title because it encourages discussion and, quite frankly, you can't help but want to share it!

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    I am the Messenger sends the Reader on an adventure with just an ordinary under-age cab driver. It truly thrills.

    In the book I am the Messenger, by Markus Zuzak Ed Kennedy is just a normal, sensitive, hopeless, underage cab driver. He really does not know what to do with his life, until a mysterious ace of diamonds playing card with several street names written on it ends up in his mailbox.
    Ed embarks on a journey around his town stopping at certain houses and changing people's lives for the better. Some people he knows and others he does not; all along discovering more about himself. Ed's story moves through many colorful acquaintances, including, Daryl and Keith - the bumbling hit-men, the stern man in the taxi with yellow eyes, and the sneaky woman who decides to cause trouble for Ed at the Sledge Game. All of whom seem to work for the same person. Throughout his journey Ed cannot help but wonder who is the one dictating all the playing card madness.

    Throughout the book many themes are used to propel the story. Though the most important is finding your way in life, others include life goes on, change helps you learn more about yourself as well as others. The book is a wonderful, charming story. It has memorable characters and is quite a page turner. Though it is about 400 pages in reality 357 it keeps a great pace with the events in the story and the sarcasm and language really make it a fun read. The book is really a story meant for young adults but even adults will find it a short entertainment. One problem with the book though, is that some of the characters are really not needed. Though the story comes full circle at the end, taking out some of the characters wouldn't have change the story one bit.

    Anyone should read this charming story because not is it only packed with action for the action-lovers; but it has romance for the romance-lovers, and a great plot with good characters for the one's who just love a good story. Markus meant does not only appeal to every type of person in this story; but also was able to take a lighter side to the Holocaust in his other book The Book Thief about a girl named Lisel who steals books around her town to feed her thirst for knowledge.

    I am the Messenger is an incredible book filled with the needs of every type of book lover. It has a great story line. Charming characters, story line, and some of life's morals. It is truly a charming read and is a story that hopefully will remain in teenagers and adults bookcases for years to come.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    A book that really kept my interest...

    With Ed Kennedy living a bland life as an underage cab driver with just his dog, The Doorman, he felt as if nothing was coming his way. His mom hated him, his dad had died, he had feelings his friend Audrey (but she wouldn't feel love towards anyone), and he was threatened by a criminal after being the "star of the scene" when he was a victim in a bank robbery. However, when Ed gets his first card in the mail, things start to change. Ed starts thinking outside of what's there to go way ahead of himself and change the lives of others. Helping and hurting, he is given spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds with different mysteries to unveil on every card. Each story is a new experience for him, and that is what I loved about this story. It wasn't just one main plot. Every situation was eventually linked into one, and that one story was his. The beginning was clever, the storyline was thorough, and the ending was amazing. All in all, this book was extremely hard to put down and I loved every bit of it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2006

    Amazing

    This book is indescribable. There is a magic to the writing and the events that makes it such a pleasure to experience. The only sub-par element is the amount of willpower it takes to put it down when you don't have time to read it all in one sitting. There isn't a whole lot else to say, except that anyone unsure about reading the book should most definitely give it a shot.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    In Love

    I loved it. It tops charts for me and definitely was good. I reread it several times:)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    YOLO

    This book reminds me of the true meaning of YOLO

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2013

    Besides the few problems I had with this book - oh wait, there w

    Besides the few problems I had with this book - oh wait, there were none...
    This book is exceptional. It is breathtaking and magical and special. Definitely special.
    The best part of this book was the ending. It is so perfect, and ties the whole story together perfectly, I suppose as an ending should. But this one was spectacular. It was great.
    It took me a while to grow comfortable with the characters in the novel but once the story got started, I felt like I was a part of that slummy town in Australia. 
    So, read this book. It relays a beautiful message AND it is quite entertaining. I finished it in a couple days. I also recommend it to fans of John Green.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    Great book!!

    I love Markus Zusak and this was another great read, mysterious and you can't stop reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Good

    Great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!  

    Great book!  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Favorite book!

    This book really makes you rethink the way you live your life, a great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Made me want to be a better person

    Gave me insight to myself...made me stop making excuses for so many things..even started using my treadmill every day again! Loved this book amd rhe other book by this author..the book thief..two of my all time new favorites!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak is by far one of my favorite

    I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak is by far one of my favorite books. It really delves into the human psyche and challenges our views of what makes a hero, what secrets we hide, and what humans are capable of when they try. It is certainly not a children&rsquo;s book &ndash; the cursing and slightly larger-than-life themes prove that &ndash; but teenagers, young adults, and above will enjoy it.

    Ed Kennedy is a 19-year-old taxi driver whose life is completely and utterly dead-end. He lives in a shack with his dog the Doorman, plays a card game called Annoyance with his friends Ritchie, Marv, and Audrey, loves a girl he can&rsquo;t have, and is constantly yelled at by his less than approving mother. One day, he stops a bank robbery, and after that he starts receiving cards in the mail &ndash; Aces, each with a written hint on it directing him to someone that needs his help.

    I have never seen a style of writing quite like Zusak&rsquo;s. I marveled at it in The Book Thief and I marveled at it in I Am The Messenger, and I will continue to marvel at it so long as it contains that fabulous, simplistic tone only he can seem to pull off. And he uses this power for good by writing what is one of the most beautifully philosophical pieces I have ever read in my life. The book digs into your heart and forces you to reevaluate yourself, your life, and the point to which you&rsquo;re willing to go for other people. The characters are realistic and flawed, and their relationships show a wonderful clarity that are at times incredibly goofy and at times some of the most touching things I&rsquo;ve ever read. If there is one thing that I could have suggested improvement on, I think he should&rsquo;ve left the ending where it was with the &lsquo;dead man&rsquo; ending; the rest might have been devoted to reflection. He could have reached the same conclusions without the last protagonist being introduced, I think. Even that flowed well &ndash; it was simply a matter of preference.

    I Am The Messenger is the type of book you can read 15 times in a row without getting bored (I certainly did). Zusak has truly outdone himself with this, and I will always be on the lookout for a new book by him. I would recommend this for anyone who has a tolerance for curse words and some adult themes. This is a book that sticks with you forever, and I &ndash; certainly &ndash; will never forget it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    I am the messager

    This is definitly a must read book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Markus Zusak Rules

    Like every other book of his, Zusak creates such real and honest stories with real and honest characters. It leaves the reader with an incredible feeling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    If you¿re looking for a novel like The Book Thief, this isn¿t it

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Great book

    This book was very touching and well written! The ending surprised me though...but overall awesome book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Just finished

    SO AWESOME! I LOVED IT! A MUST READ FOR ALL!

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