Wednesday, April 29

Book Review: The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Pages: 550

Summary: 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.

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: What an outstanding story! I had the hardest time putting this down, I was reading it last night, and had about 90 pages left, and had to stop reading because I was so tired, I was falling asleep. I just had the chance after a day of packing, and finishing another book, to write the review. This books as been on my TBR list for a while, and after all the great reviews, it differently lived up to its hype. The book is narrated by differently then most books, not only is it narrated by death, it also contains little “news flashes” throughout the story which gives extra tid-bits on what he, the narrator, thinks of the situation or what is on his mind. It is a little distracting at first, but it is also very interesting to see his perspective on what is going on around him. But, what makes this story is Liesel, a young girl who steals books, and her friendships and relationships with others, mostly because of her love of reading. It was a very heart warming book, and some parts made me smile, in her book stealing adventures, but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the book yet.

The writing style was fairly standard, but because of how the narrator (death) told the story, it drew you into the book, and was also able to have you really invested in it. It also had a lot of symbolism and interesting points on humanity, that “death” points out, which I found to be very interesting and had beautiful meanings behind them, that really made the story, and its characters become very real. One part in the end had me in tears, and some emotions behind acts had me close to tears at other times.

In the heart of it all, is the story of World War II and how it had affected the lives of a small community in Germany, and how a small girl, through the power of words helped those forget for a short time, what was going on around them. A great premise, for a wonderful story, which is one of those you’ll be able to read over and over again. Contains a different narrative, wonderful and heart warming characters, and a sub-plot about how powerful words are, and how love for words

Would I recommend it to read: I’d recommend this book to pretty much everyone. Only problem I foresee anyone would have with the book is that they may get frustrated with the narrative. It’s different, and can be distracting at times. I liked that part of it, because you got a little more from the story, then what was written there, and it makes the book more unique then other WWII stories. But it’s a wonderful and heart-warming book, which any bookworm should read at least once. This is going to be a hard book to return to the library.

What to read next: The Boy in Stripped Pajamas, Diary of Anne Frank, Atonement

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2009 Support Your Library Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, New Author Challenge, War Through the Ages Challenge

Other Blogger's Reviews: ChainReading Review,


  1. I added your link to my review too.

  2. I have this book, but as usual, I have not yet read it. I have heard only good things about it though, your review included. I am looking forward to getting more reading time in order to get to some books that have been languishing on the shelves, and hope to get to this one soon. I am planning on coming back to this review after I finish and see if our impressions are similar.

  3. I really enjoyed this book as well. You should try I Am The Messenger by the same author, it was great.

  4. Hmm, thanks for the suggestion Jess. I'll have to check it out.

  5. I loved this book! I've posted an excerpt from your review here.

    Diary of an Eccentric