Heavy-handed message

Zusak, M. (2002). I am the messenger. New York: Alfred E. Knopf.

Genre: Realistic / fable

Intended audience: Older teens

Personal reaction to the book:

MessengerSPOILER ALERT: Review contains spoiler.

I really enjoyed the book until the final chapter or so.

For most of the book, the game for a reader was guessing who was leaving the playing cards with clues that led Ed through the plot: Was it Ma? Audrey the love interest? One of the card players? One by one they got eliminated as suspects, until we were left with “Hi, I’m your author, here to rub your face in an obvious, moralistic, metatextual ending, where it turns out the AUTHOR, that’s right, me, the AUTHOR, created these little vignettes for Ed to work through.”

It’s a damned shame, because right up until then I thought this was the best YA novel I had read in quite some time. I had Zusak’s The book thief on my list but now I’m not sure I’ll bother.

Author facts: Marcus Zusak grew up and still lives in Sydney, Australia. The book thief is his most successful title to date. He has a wife, two children and two dogs he walks daily.

Related website: http://zusakbooks.tumblr.com/

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