Review for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak!
Quick View Review:
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: **** (4.5/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
Let’s imagine ourselves living in Germany in 1939, during the heart of World War II. The country is anxiously waiting for the next attack, constantly held in fear. Death has never been busier, and times will only get worse.
Liesel Meminger is a girl living with a foster family outside of Munich. She finds her passion in books and words, and ends up stealing a few she simply can’t resist. She learns to read through her accordion-loving foster father, and shares her knowledge and passion with the people of her village during air raids and with the Jewish man her family is hiding in the basement. Death is fascinated by Liesel and can’t help coming back to her to watch her. But the threat of the Nazis is always there, striking when you least expect it. How will Liesel deal with this threat and the changes it brings to her life?
The book was absolutely fabulous, heart-wrenching, inspiring, tear-jerking, educational, joyful, depressing… The list could go on forever. Zusak did a tremendous job creating relatable and funny characters that each had unique personalities. Liesel’s personality was complex and relatable, and, like Death, you couldn’t help but be intrigued by her love for words despite illiteracy. For the longest time, Rudy was my number one fictional crush. He was simply hilarious and incredibly adorable. He was the charismatic lost puppy that never left Liesel’s side, and you couldn’t help but hand over your heart to his messy shock of blond hair. I absolutely loved the budding teenage romance that took place between him and Liesel (I may or may not have said “awww” out loud more than once). And these are only my two favorites!
The narration of this book was also extremely unique and like nothing I’ve ever even come close to seeing before. It was beautifully creative, and not only did Zusak come up with this extraordinary idea, but he executed it with fascinating and amazing writing. In my opinion, having Death himself (fun fact: when I read this book in French, Death was portrayed as a woman) is what truly sets this book apart. I also loved how Zusak masterfully weaved in suspense and worry by incorporating a stressful yet educational setting.
Being a complete bookworm, the power of words theme that reappeared many times throughout the course of the book was something that captivated me, but something that also added a reflective aspect to the book: I (and other readers, I assume) was constantly thinking about what power words had then and how words affect our lives today. Honestly, this book was just one giant argument as to why the pen is mightier than the sword (just kidding, there’s so much more to it, but you get the idea ;)).
Overall, I recommend this book to everyone, but historical fiction fans will have their noses in deeper than anybody else’s for this one. This book is also perfect for school projects if that’s what you’re looking for, as it is completely packed with hidden meaning and themes. The characters were adorable, the plot and perspective were unique and creative, and the writing was stunning. What more could you ask for?