Friday, October 12, 2012

Book review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I loved this book.

I loved loved loved loved loved this book.

But I'm having a hard time reviewing it. So, here are some thoughts:

1. This book does better than maybe any other book I've ever read of showing how meaningful everyday interactions really are. Yes, there are huge things going on, like, you know, World War II and book burnings and Jews being marched through town. But it's all shown through Liesel's everyday life, the relationships she builds, and the way people treat each other.

2. The Book Thief also has some of the most excellent characters I've ever read. I think I fell in love with every one of them. Even the bad guys are so well written that you love them while you hate them.

3. This is not a quick read. Or, it wasn't for me. It is a long book and not overly full of action. But there is a steady, driving desire to know what happens. Make sure that when you pick this up, you have some time to invest in it.

4. I've never read a WWII book told from this perspective before -- just an average German girl. Not a soldier or a  Jew in hiding. Just a girl. I liked it.

5.One thing I wasn't sure I liked was that it often gives away things that will happen several chapters ahead of time. Heck, some of the stuff that happens in the end of the book, it tells you in the preface. I'm not sure I liked knowing what was going to happen.

6. The voice is very unique -- the story is told by Death. This caused the first chapter/preface (not sure which it was) to be confusing for me, and I had to listen to it a couple times. I know I say this a lot, but I'm not sure I've ever meant it more -- push through it. Give this book a full hundred, maybe hundred and fifty, pages before you put it down. Because these characters and this story are worth it.

Have any of you read The Book Thief? I gave it 5 stars and highly recommend it. Loved it. What did you think?


Cassy said...

Great advice! I really want to read this book, and it sounds right up my alley. Can't wait!

Shauna said...

This book has been recommended to me so many times that I bought it but still haven't gotten past the first chapter! I better read it after I finish Game of Thrones!

Sara said...

I think I'll be purchasing this soon!

P.S. I just nominated you for the Liebster Award! LOVE reading your blog! :-)

lil desiqua said...

This one is definitely on my "To Read" list- so great to see another shining review!

Lauren {Adventures in Flip Flops} said...

Yeah, I read it and definitely loved it! And this is coming from a girl who has read every Holocaust/WWII novel ever. I liked that this one was different and still meaningful.

Shoshanah said...

I've heard such great things about this one! I haven't read it, at least not yet, but definitely plan on getting to it soon. said...

Newest follower here! I love the book review, I do the same thing on my blog!

stanleysquirrel said...

I really want to read this book :) I have just discovered your blog and I love it :) I have just started my own book reviewing blog and am planning to do lots of reviewing in 2013! :)


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