I am the Messenger; The Secret Under My Skin

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Two great new YA reads: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak and The Secret Under My Skin by Janet McNaughton. Messenger is the story of Ed Kennedy, a 19 year old cab driver and your basic sweet harmless bum. He hangs out with his friends, plays cards, attempts to suppress his crush on a childhood girlfriend (as in girl-who-is-a-friend), and has an uncomfortable relationship with his mother. When Ed stops a bank robbery purely by chance he begins to receive playing cards with cryptic sayings on them. Eventually, Ed realizes that he has been tapped by a mysterious someone to decipher these cards and intervene in the lives of the three people each card refers to. I really liked this book, sort of a feel-good story for people who dig black humor. Some of the people Ed comes in contact with have more serious problems than others and there is a fair amount of violence but it ends on a great note.

The Secret Under My Skin is set in the year 2368. The environment has degraded, many children are living on the streets without parents and more are in work camps. It is from one of these work camps that Blay Raytee (her name changes later) is chosen to assist the new bio-indicator (a person who’s job is akin to theat of a canary in a mine) with her studies. Away from the work camp and the controlling Commission, Blay begins to learn an alternate history of how the earth’s environemtn became so damaged and what the Commission’s true purpose is as well as more information about her past. A good fast-paced science fiction book.

~posted by Theresa

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