Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Published March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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I certainly liked this book, I liked it a lot, actually, but I didn’t love it.

The story is about Liesel, a German girl with communist parents that had to give her up to another family because (as we all know) the Nazis were off to kill them. So Liesel and her little brother are supposed to go to this family’s house but in the way there her brother dies in the cold train and is then buried in the middle of nowhere. Liesel is of course heartbroken and when one of the buriers drops his little handbook of burying people, Liesel steals it, it’s the last connection she will have to her brother.

Then Liesel arrives to her new house. Things are rough of course; Liesel keeps getting awful nightmares about her brother’s death. But her new papa is a good man and he helps her deal with it and plays his accordion for her and teaches her how to read.

Jeez, I love Papa Hans sooooooo much; he makes you see that not all Germans had lost their humanity during those difficult years. Papa Hans is one of those characters I will forever store in my mind for when I need to remember that there are good people everywhere. Mama Rosa is good too I guess, she was very mean sometimes but anyway everyone pales in comparison to Papa Hans.

And of course we have Liesel too, she’s kind of amazing but very fragile and sometimes clueless, but her good nature makes you love her instantly. She has a big heart, and it was that (and not her scrawny form) that captivated Rudy, the boy next door with his lemon-colored hair and his braveness and boldness, he’s dead honest and omg I have never wanted to hug/feed someone so much in my whole life. If there was a character that I came as close to love as Papa Hans it was Rudy and OMG I WON’T CRY IN PUBLIC… MUST. STOP. THINKING.

There, I’m feeling better; I’ll try to explain Max’s part now. Max is a Jew, son of one of Papa Hans’ friends from WWI. Papa promised that he would help his friend’s family with anything, whenever they needed him. The day to honor his promise comes when Max arrives to his door, starving and exhausted. Hiding a Jew, as we all know, was very very dangerous but papa Hans is a great person and soon he becomes another son to him, and a brother to Liesel. It was so achingly beautiful to see Liesel and Max’s friendship blossom, and then that book he…

Well, I’ll guess I’ll stop trying to tell you the story but don’t go yet! Hear me out: y’all need to read this book. Somehow confusing at the start and in some parts it was slow, but once you get grasp the fact that it’s told by death and that death is this nice colorful person Mexican culture always believed it was, then you’re off to have a great time.

It’s heartbreaking yes, and I will spoil you: ( remember to highlight ahead if you want the spoilers) it doesn’t have a happy ending, it’s unfair and I hate it, but it wor.ks.



  1. I didn't love this book either, which makes me feel bad since it seems like almost everyone else has. Thank you for not loving it with me!


    It wasn't necessarily because of the story, because stories about this subject are almost always sad. I loved certain things about it, though, and THOSE THINGS helped me to see past the sadness and see the amazingness. For example, I love the use of color to describe everything. Death is the narrator and he uses color to describe stuff. Like you said, he is colorful, and I totally appreciated that.

    Also, Papa Hans, YES. The characterization is amazing in this book. Even in the difficult situations and awful circumstances, the characters shine through all of them.

    It's a book based on a historical event such as this (and the Titanic, etc.) I kind of know what I'm getting into when I pick the book up, so I know ahead of time to try and look for other things to help me get through it. I connected well with this one and can't wait to read I Am The Messenger, which I hear is fabulous as well.

    My husband - he DNF'd it because he found it "boring."

  3. I really, honestly, loved this novel and have no complaints whatsoever. The author did a tremendous job in investing me in the world and the characters, and what was made was marvelous, horrifying and gorgeous all at the same time.
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