Nineteen year old cab driver Ed Kennedy foils a bank robbery and soon finds himself receiving cryptic messages in the mail written on playing cards. Each card bears hints toward three people Ed must help in some way. Will Ed ever find out who is behind is mysterious messages?
Apart from books by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, this is my first foray into young adult literature and I enjoyed it immensely.
I think the first thing that pulled me in was that Ed is a lot like I was at nineteen. I like to think I had a little more confidence but I had no idea what I wanted to do either and I'm reasonably sure I was secretly in love with a girl who was only interested in being friends at the time as well. And hell, I'm damn sure I would have taken up the messenger role like Ed did had I gotten playing cards in the mail.
The supporting cast was very well done, from Ed's friends Marv, Ritchie, and Audrey, to the people he bore messages to, like Sophie, Milla, and the spoilerific rest of them.
The writing was superb. I liked Ed's self-deprecating sense of humor and found a lot of parts very touching. I even shed some silent man tears when Marv met his daughter for the first time. The ending wasn't anything I predicted but it ended well.
I had a lot more to say about this while I was reading it but got caught up in the story and forgot most of what I'd planned. Kind of like waking from a dream and resolving to write it down in the morning, then not being able to remember anything at all. It reminded me of G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday for a few brief moments but I'm not sure why.
Five easy stars. I'll be reading more YA and Markus Zusak in the future.