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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Hello Readers & Friends,

I don't know where to start with todays review.
The Book Thief is one of those books that I have been recommended time and time and time again. Even people who don't like reading swear by it. It's everybodies favourite. It took me a while to pick it up because I knew it was set during 1940s Germany and I don't really like books about war etc, but I knew I had to give it a go considering all the recommendations.
I wish I had read it sooner.
I gave it a heaping 5 star review. I would not change a single thing.

“It’s 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”

It took me a while to get into it and a long time to read it - unlike most YA books it's not got a storyline that makes me want to keep turning the page again and again to find out what's going to happen. I mean, it's set during the war, so you know what's going to happen. It reads more like a collection of short stories rather than a tension-building single plot, so at times it felt slow but then when you get to the end you realise why Zusak had to go at a slow pace. Everything had to be built up the way it was, because it was what made the ending so beautiful.

The story is narrated by Death, which is genius. It follows the story of Liesel, an adopted little girl growing up in Nazi Germany. You get deep glimpses into not only her life, but her best friend Rudy Steiner (one of my favourite characters of all time) and also all the people who live on Himmel Street with her. As you can guess by the title, she loves to steal books. As she falls in love with the written word, her life is turned upside down when her family decide to harbour a jew in their basement. The friendship between her and Max blossoms when she discovers that he too, loves stories. What follows is a heartbreaking and amazing story about human life.

I have cried reading only three books before. The first was Noughts and Crosses. The second was Forbidden, and the third was A Little Life. But this was the only one where whilst I was crying I was appreciating about how amazingly well-written it was as much as the storyline. I really do think it's a book everybody should read, even if only once.


Here are some of my most favourite quotes, because the book is filled with memorable quotes, like poetry:

"I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." - Liesel

"I am haunted by humans." - Death

"I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.” - Death, about war.

"One was a book thief. The other stole the sky." - Death

"When death captures me,' the boy vowed, 'he will feel my fist on his face.' Personally, I quite like that. Such stupid gallantry." - Death

To conclude, there are very few writers I would be excited to meet. I never understand at Lit Cons why people deign to spend hours and hours queuing just to meet an author. Until today there have only been two authors that I would be excited to meet; J.K Rowling and Stephen King.
Today I have to add Markus Zusak to that list.

C x


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