I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
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?
This book drew me in from the first. I love the way Zusak portrays his characters and his setting. Every character is human in a way many authors often neglect. With every card Ed got in the mail, I was curious what it would be, and who it would be for. This book lays out the connections between humans, and why you should care. I found the ending slightly confusing but the rest of the book heartwarming and inspiring. I absolutely loved I am the Messenger, the ideas behind it, and Zusak’s wonderful execution of it.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery….
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
This book is thoroughly mind-blowing and downright incredible. What else would you expect from a book narrated by Death?
I can hardly begin to describe my love for this book. It’s thought-provoking and poignant and full of unforgettable characters, scenes, and sentences. This book made me laugh, and cry, and more than any other I’ve read, painted me a picture of World War Two. Which is another reason I love this book. Lots of people know the story of the Jews in concentration camps or Victory Garden growers on the home front, but the people living in Nazi Germany are often looked over or thought of as Party members. Not all of them were. Some of them hid Jews in their basement, or played the accordion, or stole books.
And a lot of them died. Death is ever-present in The Book Thief, and not just because he’s narrating it. Death's character is a huge part of why I like this book. Death isn’t cruel, he doesn’t kill. He doesn’t like carrying broken souls, but it’s his job. He comforts the dead and watches the sky. He isn’t something to be feared, but in the end he comes for us all, even those of us who steal books from a Nazi fire.
Ex Libris, Veritas
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As Simple as Snow