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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Spoiler-Free Book Review

Finally! A book I’ve read recently and can still remember what it’s about!! However did this happen, right?

“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads)

HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Aesthetic

My copy of the book is the 10th anniversary edition- it gives me an antique-ish vibe that I feel really goes with the book itself. In all honesty, I think the only thing I didn’t really like about the book is that since it’s a paperback, I had to be extra careful not to bend the spine. Other than that, the illustrations were lovely, the paper was lovely and the font was easy to read- everything good here.

Writing

I. Adored. It. A novel narrated by death? Just how often do you come across an idea like that that’s also successfully executed? That’s right, not often. Despite standing at almost 540 pages (and thus being slightly intimidatingly large), I was able to read through it easily- the plot captivates you. I was surprised to find this one of the first novels dealing with historical themes that I enjoyed- and I have to give most of that credit to the writing. It was amazing. Entertaining, with a healthy dose of sass and without disregarding the occasional straightforwardness and sobriety of death, it really made the book stand out.

Characters

Liesel is pretty much every bibliophile ever in her perspective towards books- in that sense, I think a lot of people relate to her. In other ways, what she’s been through cannot be compared with many other experiences (the rest of us are incredibly blessed for that), and she’s a really strong character that I really enjoyed reading. There are many, many powerful characters in this book and the character development is so evident in certain cases that simply thinking about it makes me emotional all over again.

Plot

It’s unique in a different way- it presents a new perspective on Nazi Germany, one that I’ve also found in (don’t laugh) Marvel movies. Remember how Doctor Erskine said in Captain America that many forget how the first country the Nazi invaded was their own? Yeah, I thought that to be a fitting perspective to what I found in the book. Either way, it was an approach I’d rarely seen before, and it was really interesting.

General

One of the things that I loved the most about this book was the author’s idea of death being haunted by people just as it happens the other way around. It brought a refreshing and introspective outlook on the book, one that really got me thinking.

Let me share a little fun fact when it comes to my relationship with the book: my literature teacher keeps telling me to stop recommending it, since the targeted age group (according to her), should be middle school aged children. I disagree. I loved this book now and I’m sure I’ll love this book 10 years from now. I definitely recommend picking it up!

Rating-wise, it’s a 4/5 for me (that’s Exceeds Expectations for all of you Potterheads). This book is definitely a must-have in your library, whether you’re 10, 50 or 90.

“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.

She was the book thief without the words.

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”

Thank you all for reading! I’ll see you on the next one,

Andrea.

     

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