The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I begin with this book?

– This is a historical fiction based around the life of a young girl named Liesel Meminger. The story takes place in Germany during World War II and is narrated by Death. I first picked this book up about five years ago and for the life of me I cannot remember why I put it down but I now regret that decision! This is seriously one of the most breathtaking novels I have ever had the privilege of reading.

– So we begin with Liesel moving away from her Mother and the death of her younger brother en route to her new home. This is where Death first encounters Liesel and from then on takes a keen interest in her life. Death narrates Liesel’s life to us but also the lives of various people who are close to her. Something that I really enjoyed in this novel were the small indentations in the text where Death is directly talking to us as the audience. I found some of these snippets to be extremely profound and thought provoking.

– At the funeral of her brother Liesel steals a gravedigger’s handbook and takes it for her own. This thievery continues throughout the novel as Liesel yearns to read and learn more through the books she is stealing. The rest of the novel revolves around the relationships Liesel builds with her new family and the people who live within the neighborhood. These relationships were one of my favourite things within the novel as Zusak’s ability to build such strong bonds between the characters is outstanding and I was truly hooked!

– The pace of the book is wonderful, we move between the characters that are connected to Liesel and see the catastrophic damage of the war through the eyes of Death as he takes us on his various endeavors to clean up the debris of the war. The text is also paired with a couple of handwritten books that go along with the story which brought me to tears on both occasions (it was a shame they didn’t include these in the film!).

– This novel is written in such a poetic and beautiful way that I would be shocked to find someone who hasn’t enjoyed it. A book full of heart-warming and tear-rendering moments that I could barely put down! I’m not the type of person who would jump at reading a story based around war but I think I will definitely be reconsidering what I choose to read in the future now as this has completely changed my view on this genre of books! I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t read it yet and especially if you have reservations about reading it because it’s such a hyped book – I’m absolutely positive that you won’t be disappointed! Five out of five stars!

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