REVIEW: I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My rating: 

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?

“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.”

Marcus Zusak. You are such an unbelievably talented writer. I'm sure you already know that. You write with so much passion. With so much thought in the words you use and how you use them. There was no crappy circumlocution (which I hate by the way), there was just simple words that conveys a deeper meaning. Zusak is indeed a magnificent storyteller.

"Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are."

I am the Messenger shows us the reality in life, despite the hardships that we face every day, there would be that day where everything will be right. Also, how everyone is not just another somebody. Everything we do, will have a direct or indirect effect to those people around us. This was a lesson Ed (the main character) learned.


The story follows Ed, who was an underage cab driver, until he becomes a hero. He became a local hero after he accidentally stops the robber when he was trying to escape. After the said incident, he received the first ace on his mail. With that was instructions, or more of addresses of places he should go. What they were for, he had no clue. He only started to get what the sender wants him to do, after he visted the first house. Ed becomes the messenger. But he was sure, that whoever sent him these aces made a mistake of choosing him.

He doesn't believe he could help the people he was sent to help.
He doesn't believe he could, because he couldn't even help himself.

But there was no mistake, he was the right man for the job... The question was... Who sent them?


There a lot of supporting characters here, but I think I'll be focusing on the main ones in my opinion.


“My full name’s Ed Kennedy. I’m nineteen. I’m an underage cabdriver. I’m typical of many of the young men you see in this suburban outpost of the city—not a whole lot of prospects or possibility. That aside, I read more books than I should, and I’m decidedly crap at sex and doing my taxes. Nice to meet you.”

Ed was not your typical hero. He wasn't the brooding or panty-dropping type that are mostly on YA and NA books. He was plain. He was ordinary. And he knows that. He hasn't done anything remarkable in his life... until now.

I think Mr. Zusak's characterization of Ed was brilliant. You see him grow throughout the book. You see him struggle. You see him start to see the world with new eyes. It was beautiful. I see why he chose a character like Ed to portray the main role. He wanted to show his readers that you don't have to be somebody to make a difference. You don't have to be rich, you don't have to be a successful person, you don't have to be popular - you just have to be the person who wants to make a difference. And as the story unfolds itself, you will see that difference with Ed and to those people whose life he touched.

Ed's voice was honest. You'll read about him feeling bad about himself not being able to do anything right - which I think most of us could relate to.

The Sender

Oh boy.

He was definitely a big surprise. My mouth was hanging open. I could not believe what Mr. Zusak did with him. You only meet the sender towards the end of the book. You'll meet him, but you'll have to guess who he is. At first, it would be unclear, because you've never met him. But as you go and read everthing he has to say, you'll see what I mean.

"And if a guy like you can stand up and do what you did for all those people, well, maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.".

For me, this line right there, was the best lesson I got from this book. Towards the end, you'll realize that he made Ed the message, not the messenger. We are not just a somebody, we are all a someone. I hope that made sense. We may think that what we do, are insignificant to someone else, but that's not true. We could affect other people's lives, for the better or for the worse, it is out choice. We have to make that choice.


This book is one I will highly recommend to everyone. I know I didn't rate it a perfect 5, because of some reasons. Like there were times that I got bored, that I got upset with some of Ed's thoughts... and a bunch of other stuff... but those are very minor things. Not even worth mentioning really. I know it's silly but, I can't rate a book a perfect 5 if there were some things I didn't like about it. So there. Hence, the 4 stars.

However, the message of this book, was so pure. Believe in what you can do. This book is an encouragement, for those people who are losing hope, for those who feel their life is going nowhere, for those who thinks their stuck on where they are, for those who feel that they couldn't help others because they couldn't even help themselves. Ed was the perfect example of how this is not true.

I did tear up a little bit towards the end. For those of you who have been following my reviews, I am a real cry baby when it comes to books like these. It's not overly emotional, but because I could relate to most parts of the book, it pulled a few heartstrings. I felt the sincerity of Mr. Zusak words. I feel that for the author, the message that he wants to convey is more important than the fame or money he will be receiving if this book becomes popular.

I couldn't stress enough, how much I love and adore this book. I would recommend it to anyone who are looking for a read that will leave you thinking about life, reality, yourself, others, and a bunch of other things in between.

Will definitely be looking forward for more of Mr. Zusak's books.


  1. I've yet to read this one of his but I've read The Book Thief which I thought was wondrous! I really do agree--Zusak is a fabulous storyteller. It comes across in his public speaking as well. He was speaking at one of the leadership conferences I attended and the way he crafted his speech was mesmerising. He had the whole room charmed!

    1. Oh Jess! Please go and pick this up! I couldn't compare The Book Thief and this book because they are really different... Even the writing seems different. But both are amazing nonetheless. :) Must be really good to hear him in person. I wish he could come here for a book signing!!!!

  2. Eeek coincidence! I actually just picked this up from the library today :D Glad I read this before starting.. really excited to read it now. Lovely revieww <3

    1. Thanks C! :) Looking forward to your thoughts on this book. It is a must read! Leave me a message on GR once you've read it.

  3. Hello there, I really like your blog so I decided to pass the torch and nominate you for LIEBSTER AWARDS. Check out the details GOOD LUCK :)


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