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I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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People are always dreaming. Dreaming is something we should never stop. Nonetheless, when I read about a nine-year-old boy giving up on all of his hopes and dreams, it “broke my heart into more pieces than my heart is made of.” Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close made me rethink my priorities and change some aspects of my existence. Jonathan Safran Foer's heartbreaking best seller teaches the reader that life is a precious gift that every person should take advantage of.

This slightly confusing but extremely touching novel ­focuses on Oskar, who lost his father in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Foer's voice is the first thing I noticed. He uses a different tone for each character, which takes some getting used to, but after a while you can tell who's who.

Foer's use of run-ons, fragments, and half-sentences help keep the reader interested. When Thomas Schell talks, each sentence is on a page of its own, portraying the book that he's actually writing: you can literally “flip through the pages of [his] life.” On some of the pages, we read about Thomas's life in numbers (I tried to decode it but failed miserably). Foer keeps us on our toes by giving us some details of the story but not all.

Because this book is only set a few years ago, readers can definitely relate to what's going on. We all know how odd it is to have someone ring our doorbell and ask us random questions (which is what Oskar does for over eight months!). However, Oskar comes up with some pretty crazy schemes: he actually counts the number of lies he tells to get people to let him into their humble abode.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a book that everyone should enjoy. Anyone who has lost somebody important can relate, and it keeps the devastation of 9/11 alive. This book is stirring, motivated, and definitely full of life. It is one of the few books that I can honestly say touched my soul.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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weplayedpirates said...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

That is not the review I submitted--it is the review for another book entirely.

Could you please fix this? And will my actual review be placed in the magazine?

 
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