I Am the Messenger Review

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Title:  I Am the Messenger

Author: Markus Zusak

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, mystery, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Source: School library


Like many other readers, I absolutely adored Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and the messages it had to send. Thus, I was naturally inclined to check out more from Zusak, and I hurried to check out I Am the Messenger. I went in blind, knowing that I could trust Zusak to give me a good story. Well… that’s not really how things turned out.

I Am the Messenger thrust me into an extremely confusing world. I found it to be an immense step down from TBF, and that left me feeling like a melted chocolate ice cream. I’m sure there is some type of philosophical message that Zusak has hidden in the story, but I just couldn’t dig deep enough to find it.

This story follows Ed, who drives cabs and does not know what else he wants to do with his life. All of a sudden, fate leads to him getting a letter in the mail, which appoints him as a messenger. If he accepts, then his job would be to help out around town. One thing he is unsure of, though, is the person behind all of this. And does this job serve as a means of true growth for Ed?

The word ‘boring’ is going to be used a lot in this review, so be prepared. The first thing that was incredibly boring was the protagonist Ed himself. He was at times unmotivated and untactful, and his big group of friends was absolutely as bland as can ever be. That in itself, among with other things, really turned me off!

Next up, the boring, lacklustre plot. In fact, lacklustre is exactly how I’d describe it- it was as slow-paced as a turtle’s walk and lacked any shine.

The third strike that outed this book was its writing style. I really appreciated it while reading The Book Thief, but I guess it just didn’t… work for this book. I understand the desire for artistic metaphors and such for a book like TBF, but for books like this with plots that already tend to be confusing in themselves, I would prefer a straight-to-the-point writing style, and that was not what I saw.

Overall, I am super sad to say that this book was not my cup of tea. Everything about it was just confusing and it lacked the potential for me to connect to it on an emotional level. I guess readers would like it if they enjoy mysterious novels without riveting plots, so I’d still recommend it to some people. If you are more of a fan of cute and fluffy books, though, then I’m afraid to say that I doubt that this book would serve your needs.



Have you ever adored a book by a certain author, and then picked up another one of their works and disliked it? What books have you found confusing?

10 thoughts on “I Am the Messenger Review

  1. I remember reading this book at some point, but I, for the life of me, can’t remember much about it. I so get what you mean about this being a let down compared to The Book Thief, which has stuck with me for years, and which I often reread.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’m so sorry to hear this was mostly just a boring read, Kayla… I have not read anything by the author before so I can’t even make a comparison but I’ve heard wonderful things about him. Too bad about the writing style and the characters not living up to their full potential. Philosophical, hidden messages can go either two ways and one of them is the confusing one, so I’m not surprised it was like that for you.
    Amazing review, and better luck next time!

    Liked by 1 person

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