Saturday, June 9, 2012

Book Review - The Book Thief 

This book is the first book for the book club that I joined so I read it within a month's time. Which is amazing for me, since I'm still reading Dracula that started back in October 2011. LOL I guess a time limit is a very good thing for me. LOL

Here is the description of the book as told on the back cover: 

"It’s just 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. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."

Many of the books that I've read are written in a first-person format as someone is telling their story. Very rarely have I found a book that is narrated by someone who is overlooking all parts of every situation. I have never encountered a book that was narrated by Death. In this book Death is portrayed as a person who is narrating, rather than a thing that happens - so you get to hear his side of the story as well. 

This book was hard for me to get into and felt a little slow. But I stuck it out and read the whole book and you know what? I am so glad that I did. 

Liesel is one of the main characters in the book and she is "The Book Thief." She is a little girl who watched her little brother die and fights with her nightmares about the event every night. She is brought into a foster home with a mom who is very strict and dad who is very loving; he teaches her to read and write. The little family is very poor, but Liesel loves her books so much that she resorts to stealing to get another one. 

Another thing that I thought was very unique about this book was the fact that it was written from a German's perspective during WWII. There are all sorts of books about the Jews and their tribulations during WWII but very rarely do you hear about what the Germans were going through. Believe it or not they suffered too, and not all of the Germans were bad. In this story, Leisel's family was comprised of some of the good Germans.

Since this book is narrated by Death, I will tell you that it does not have a fairy-tale ending. To tell you the truth I cried like a baby, I needed tissues and everything. However, reading this book made me realize just how powerful words are and how much a book can be good for your soul. I got very inspired to write my own book just so that I would be able to share that power and inspiration with someone else.

Even though The Book Thief can be hard to get into and doesn't have a fairy-tale ending, it is one that I would recommend. It helped me not only see the power of words but also the goodness that can be found in people.

Your Book Reviewer,
          Jessy <3

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