Nineteen-year-old Ed Kennedy has a dull and boring life. He has a job as a taxi driver in a run-of-the-mill city, three close friends who he always plays cards with, a dismal shack on the outskirts of town, and a rancid-smelling dog named The Doorman. Ed has lived in the same area for all his life, and does not have any higher expectations for the rest of his existence. Life for him progresses on in an achingly repetitive pattern, until one day he unintentionally aids in the capture of a bank robber. As he quickly moves from an unimportant taxi driver to an unimportant taxi driver who got his picture on the front page of the newspaper, he discovers a card in his mailbox.
This card is not an invitation, a letter, or a thank you note, but rather a playing card. The Ace of Diamonds. Written upon it are three addresses, which Ed musters up the courage to visit. At each residence he finds some type of problem with its inhabitants and comes to realize that he must be the one to fix it. As Ed slowly works his way through the Ace of Diamonds and the subsequent suits, he reflects on his life and begins to uncover the mysteries of himself as well as the people around him. Markus Zusak, as always, brings his unfailingly unique style of writing into play in I am the Messenger with surprising detail, observations, and structure of the novel. The true genius of the writing comes in the humor and point of view as the story is told from Ed’s regular yet extraordinary perspective, “I try to work out what is happening and who has sent me what could be a piece of destiny in the mail.”
Review by Emma M., teen blogger