The Book Thief Review

The Book Thief

My rating: All of the stars

This one is an old favorite of mine. It’s more or less the book that taught me that reading can be a glorious thing. It also single-handedly convinced me to do more and more (and then some) reading.

I read The Book Thief quite a while ago. It has stuck with me every moment since. I’d be lying if I said this book hadn’t changed me both as a reader and a person in general. If you haven’t yet read this masterpiece, what are you doing still reading this sloppy little review? Go on and buy this book. It’s waiting for you to caress its pages and devour its insides. Now, if that sentence didn’t immediately make you exit this page, I suppose you’ll take a bit more convincing. Drat.

The Book Thief is lyrical and chilling. It’s everything you shouldn’t expect from a book written from the perspective of Death himself. The story follows a young girl by the name of Liesel, a foster child in Germany during World War II. At her brother’s graveside, she finds an unremarkable black book that ends up changing her entire life. Liesel slowly but surely falls in love with books. She soon turns to thievery to obtain such books, going as far as to steal from Nazi book-burnings.

Oh yeah, there’s also a Jew living in their basement. That adds a bit of tension.

I cannot conjure adequate words for how badly this book mashed around my insides, but I will say that I distinctly recall finishing The Book Thief at four in the morning, only to lay down and cry my eyes out- quite the predicament for a reader- for another hour or so. That poor tissue box never ever stood a chance.

Everything about this book makes me happy. Well, except for the Nazis. And, you know, that whole War World II scenario. Hitler was awful, as well.  Also, the ending of the book makes me want to cry a lot. Wail, actually. Like a dying polar bear. There’s also the fact that Liesel’s brother died at six years old. That’s just rotten. Hitler Youth, too, makes me sick to my stomach. Thinking on it, I’m sure if you flip The Book Thief to any odd page, you’ll find something entirely depressing.

I know, I know. I’m sure all you readers are just salivating at the prospect of getting this book in your hands right about now.

The Book Thief obviously isn’t the most upbeat book ever written, but I’d say that’s really the beauty of it. World War II was gruesome and horrifying. This book really shines a light on those living in Germany at the time. It wasn’t easy and conditions were less than ideal. What’s always constant in this book, though, is hope. It may not be easy to find, it sure wasn’t plentiful, but it was there in some moments. It’s narrated by Death, yes, but The Book Thief is heart-rending and gorgeous, even in ways one might not expect.

Here is the part where I should rant about the character development or the historical accuracy of the setting and whatnot, but I think I’ll just leave this review just how it is. I acknowledge the fact that I cannot do The Book Thief any justice. Any words I use here can’t and won’t by any means live up to the ones in the novel.

However, I still highly suggest you, whoever it is you are, read this novel. I don’t care if you are Markus Zusak himself. Go, shoo. Read it.


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