Category Archives: australia

I Am The Messenger

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I Am The Messenger

How well do we really know the people who are closest to us? That was the question that kept repeating through my mind on a loop as I read I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. When you think about it, we really only know what other people present to us and vice versa. You never can tell the inner workings of a person no matter how well you may know them. Everyone presents some kind of facade to the world. And even when people throw out hints about who they really are and their problems sometimes we’re just so caught up in our own lives we fail to see those clues and hints. This is the world the protagonist of I Am The Messenger, Ed Kennedy, occupies. He barely lives in the present let alone thinking about his life in the future. He just kind of exists. That is until he begins to get playing cards in the mail with messages written on them.

The messages point him in the direction of people who need help of some kind, and Ed has to figure out how to help them. From domestic abuse to an old woman waiting for her long lost love to return to her, Ed finds ways to assuage people’s troubles and in a roundabout way his own. With each person he helps, Ed is forced to face the reality of his own life and his impact on others. And he’s surprised to find that by putting himself out there he’s not just changing his relationships but strengthening them and giving them more meaning and depth. The further Ed is pushed the more walls start to break down between himself and those closest to him. He begins to see his life and himself in a new way that is challenging and terrifying but fulfilling.

The novel is reminiscent of the movie Pay It Forward with Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt in the sense that by helping others you are spreading a similar message and will get other people to help those around them.

I honestly loved this book. Zusak has proven to me he is a great writer with The Book Thief, and this novel is just as good, though different. I agree with what I said in the beginning, especially after reading the ending. This novel feels very personal for the author. Ed Kennedy could have been him as a teenager. He even inserts himself into the end as explanation for why Ed was sent to help all of the different people around his town.

I Am The Messenger is an interesting twist on the coming of age story where the character is forced by an omniscient hand to  look around him and change his fate. He’s forced to confront his own demons whether he wants to or not and really examine his relationships and how they have affected his life and shaped his identity. But more than that, he can change the way he sees himself and the world around him. He doesn’t have to be what he’s always been. He has the power to change the way other perceive him and at the end of the novel he has the tools to take ahold of his own life.

Rating: 5/5 This is one book not to miss.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015! Happy reading!

Mind Traveling

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Mind Traveling

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel set in a place you’ve always wanted to go. Once again, I went back and forth so many times on this category, from book to book and back again. Finally, I decided to settle on I Am The Messenger by Marcus Zusak. The novel is set in an unidentified place in Australia, a country I have always wanted to visit even though there are 9 out of 10 of the world’s deadliest creatures living there.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to start reading this novel. I fell in love with Zusak’s The Book Thief  and am expecting equally great things from this novel. In a way, this novel seems more intimate to Zusak himself. The character of Ed Kennedy perhaps a reflection of the author. From the back cover, I think this book might be a round about mystery. It’s hard to say. Ed starts receiving playing cards in the mail with instructions written on them. He has to become a vigilante Batman type, and who doesn’t love a tragic hero.

Stay tuned for the review of this Book Battle installment. Happy reading!

Big Little Lies Is Big Fun

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Big Little Lies Is Big Fun

Like an onion, Big Little Lies starts with the superficial facade of the book’s main characters. There’s the beautiful trophy wife married to the wealthy millionaire, the harried housewife, and the young single mother. When I first began the book I thought, this reads almost like a script for The Real Housewives of…fill in the blank. But the more I began to read the deeper the characters became. Flaws emerged, backstories took effect, and lives began to intertwine.

I loved watching each character shed their layers until their true core was revealed in an act of violence. Nothing is as it seems in this glittery beach town on the Australian coast.

Told as a crime in reverse, the novel had me up reading well into the night. I was so drawn into this world I had to know if my suspicions were proved right and what happened on that fateful trivia night. How was the crime connected to each of the characters and how on earth they were going to deal with the aftermath.

A thoroughly satisfying read. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of chick lit with a mystery thrown in. Moriarty knows her audience and definitely delivers a highly entertaining read.

Stay tuned for what’s next on the agenda!