Anywaaayyysss I think it would be cuter to say "Page-turner Tuesdays" or something but it's Friday and I want to talk about this so here you go. I am in a young adult literature class this fall and I have to read a truckload of books by the end of the semester. I am actually really excited, though, because I have to say that being an English major has killed my love of reading just a little bit. Isn't that sad? But I will just admit right now that Milton and Shakespeare and Chaucer are not really my thing. I mean, they're great and important and all but I would never read them for fun, and being forced to read them makes me. And if I have to buy another Norton Anthology of some kind of literature, which weighs 600lbs and the bookstore will NEVER buy back, I will spit a little (gleek, if you will). BUT, this class has us reading a lot of books that are just really really fun to read, even though they are technically for teenagers, and I think that it will really prepare me to teach so I am excited! We read The Outsiders last week and I had forgotten that I have a crush on Sodapop Curtis Or would, if I were a 16-year-old Greaser girl from Oklahoma. Don't tell Dave. Book crushes are allowed I think.
So anyway, this past weekend I read a book by an author that I really like, Markus Zusak. He is technically for young adults, but he is Australian and his books are sometimes released for adults here in the US so they are really more adult I think. I will warn you that he uses some bad language....like the "s word" a lot...so I wouldn't really let my young teenager read his stuff. This I will say though: Even though he uses some bad language and some of his books are a little "edgy" I think that his writing has a lot more literary and personal value than a lot of that really smutty YA stuff that gets published. Like I would 1000x rather recommend his books for a teenager that "Gossip Girl" or something because they actually promote really good values like friendship and compassion. And they are really funny. And super creative. I just wish he didn't have to use bad words to get the humor or the point across.
The book is called "I Am the Messenger." It is about this guy who lives a super mediocre life until he shoots a bank robber and then starts getting these cards in the mail, aces of each suite, which have names or words on them. They all correlate with a person that he is supposed to find and help in some way. He has to figure out who the person is and what it is that they need, and to add to it he doesn't know who is sending him these tasks but they are kind of sinister so it has a suspenseful element to it. I don't want to tell too much, but the tasks range from small and simple to scary and embarrassing. Even though it deals with some heavier topics, there are so many sweet moments in this book and it is really funny. The writing is just super original. Markus Zusak has a really different voice and if you have read "The Book Thief" you know what I mean. A lot of his sentences are really short and choppy and his imagery and verb usage are so fun and totally make you look at things in a new way.
I won't tell you the end but I cried, just a little. I do that a lot. But stupid Milton doesn't make you cry, does he (except when you cry because you still have two chapters of Paradise Lost to read and you want to stab your eyeballs with a pencil)?
What, don't you use receipts as book marks? And refuse a comb?
So run to your local library and get "I Am the Messenger!" I think it is just "The Messenger" in Australia, but they are the same. And don't get confused when he talks about sweating on Christmas in the book because that confused me until I realized that Australia in on the bottom of the world, and have reversed seasons. I am majoring in English....not Geography.