Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction. This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!
I have to talk about Markus Zuzak. He's an Aussie young adult literature author who has been highly praised for his work and for whom I was unaware of prior to my entry into YA blogging. I felt (and still do) extremely foolish that I was that oblivious to such talent.
While everyone raves about The Book Thief, I wanted to talk about it's less discussed older brother. You know the one that is set in present day Australia, kicks off with a bank robbery and has a mystery that will both entertain, wound and involve you? It was a Printz Honor title for 2006? Still nothing?
Four years later, Knopf Books for Young Readers released it onto the US market, retitled I Am The Messenger. It received accolades but was almost immediately out shined by its newer, albeit awesome sibling.
Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. 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?
It is so Australian (but not in an alienating way for international readers) that I almost wept with homesickness. It was like my brother had been realised on the page with slightly less drive. The thing is....the premise doesn't share how fantastic Ed's voice is - how humorous, how dry, how involving. It doesn't share the grit of his community or the complex nature of his interactions and feelings for Audrey. It also doesn't share how amazingly screwed up his friends are - quite possibly the most self-destructive yet hilarious gang of mates I have ever read.
And so I present the book that was overshadowed but a behemoth. Here are my thoughts on the book but I do recommend that you give it a-whirl. It should be a wider read treasure.