Release Date: March 14, 2006
Pages: 552 pages
Source: Retail Store
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Historical Fiction
Review Date: March 8,, 2014
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
The story was good from the beginning, but yet I still found myself putting the book down to read other things. Yes, it's strange that something is good and still I'm able to put it down. Maybe it's the subject matter, but eventually I did really get into the story. This book does contain a serious and heavy subject matter. Somehow Zusak was able to bring us into Germany during the worst time ever and make the reader see and feel what it was like for a young girl and her foster family,Hans and Rosa Hubermann, yet still keeping the story balanced with some funny and quirky scenes. This way the entire story wasn't doom and gloom.
I liked several things about this story. I liked the narrator. I found it very unique that the Death tells the book thief's story. With it being told in 3rd person, we really got to see all sides of what was going on. I also liked the hand drawings and handwritten and drawn stories within the story. Seeing the book that was made for Liesel was so unique and touching.
I enjoyed that the characters are constantly evolving. The relationship between Liesel and her foster father was amazing. He's kind and caring and protects her from Rosa, her foster mother. Then he shows he's able to teach Liesel some hard and serious lessons. Oddly as the story goes on, Rosa isn't as bad as we initially think she is. A lot of people touch LIesel's life and influences her, effects how she things of the world. Her foster parents, her friends, her neighbors.
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I didn't give the book a higher rating because even with the things that I liked, I still felt that the story was sort of middle of the road. By that I mean, trust me, it's not boring-at all. But at the same time, I wasn't thinking about the book whenever I wasn't reading it. I tend to think that is because at times Liesel is a bit bland. I feel that the supporting characters around her add a lot of depth to the book, but with out them, she's near forgettable.
Lastly, I think that it's the style of story telling that also contributed to me taking my sweet time with reading the book.
Many people love this book and clearly I'm in the minority being that I'm not fawning all over it. But if you're into reading about that time in history, it's worth a read. Who knows, you just may end up loving it. I've included both the interview with Markus Zusak and The Book Thief movie trailer.
Did you read The Book Thief? What did you think of it?