Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak

Here's one of the things I love about YA fiction. Being kind of obvious is perfectly acceptable. Not that there isn't plenty of subtlety in this genre, but it's okay in YA lit to state things simply and elevate underlying themes to the surface. I find it both relaxing and refreshing.

What I thought of this book
: 4 1/2 stars

Where I heard about this book: My sister Sarah Jane is the queen of YA literature. Her recommendations are always great. Including this one.

What this book is about
: A 19 year old boy, living in on the wrong side of the tracks somewhere on the outskirts of Sydney. He considers himself hopeless and pathetic and without a discernible future. Through the magic of fiction, he is given the chance to prove that he is in fact capable, compassionate, and basically the kind of guy we'd all like to be related to.

Ed Kennedy may be my favorite character of the year. This book is charming; the combination of hard realism and magical realism is one that works surprisingly well. Although I have "The Book Thief" on my reading list, I'm now even more interested in Zusak's other books, which also feature young down-on-their-luck men.

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