The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

By her brother’s graveside, Leisel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Leisel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Leisel’s family hides a
new in their basement, Leisel’s world is both opened up and closed down.
Insuperbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak had given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

I just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve put off reading this book for so freaking long. Every time I went to the bookstore I would pick up this book, read the description, then put it down. It’s always sounded interesting to me, but not enough for me to want to buy it. Thanks to my dad I had gift cards to buy more books and I figured why not read it before the movie comes out.
When I started The Book Thief I didn’t think I was going to like it. It took me a couple chapters to realize that the narrator of this book is Death. I was a bit confused but ended up absolutely loving it. This is such a unique point of view. I think Zusak did a fantastic job writing as Death, such a complex, difficult character. He portrayed Death as someone who has been watching over the human race for so long that he’s losing hope. Until he tells us the story of the book thief, Leisel. I definitely think Death let a part of him care about Leisel and I don’t blame him because I care about her too.
Leisel Meminger is an amazing character. She get’s adopted by Hans and Rosa Hubermann during World War II. She’s still coping with the death of her younger brother and the abandonment of her mother. With the help of Hans and Rosa she starts to get over her past and create a new life. The three become a family. Hans and Leisle spend most of their time together practicing reading and writing, a skill Leisel didn’t have before living with the Hubermann’s. Leisel later shares this connection with Max, a Jewish man that spends some time hiding in the Hubermann’s basement. The two become as close as brother and sister, bonding over mutual struggles and losses. Then there’s Rudy. The kid from next door that spends his time trying to gt Liesel to give him a kiss. Rudy is Leisel’s best friend. He’s spontaneous and outgoing, caring and genuine. He’s someone I’d love to be my best friend. Leisel forms so many relationships when she comes to live with Hans and Rosa. Regardless of everything she’s been through she’s such an open-hearted person. She’ll give anyone a chance and for the most part tries to do the right thing.
There’s a few things I’d like to mention about how this book was written. I’ve already said that Death is the narrator of this story, but the way he tells this was very interesting. The story jumps around a bit, but no so much that it becomes annoying. I generally don’t like books that are all over the place. The Book Thief tells more than just Leisel’s story. While her story is the main focus, we also get to hear about the lives of the other characters as well. I just feel like this story was so involved and detailed that it just sucked me in and spit me out when it was over.
Although this book didn’t have the normal happy ending, I’m very glad I finally bought this book and invested more emotions in characters that don’t actually exist. I’d definitely suggest this book to any reader that likes books with a historical aspect. To readers that like strong female lead. To readers that like to make sure they read the book before the movie comes out. Even if you don’t think you’ll like this book, I think you should give it a try.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

3 thoughts on “The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

  1. I was recommended this book so many times. But I kept stalling till the movie got released. Now I am not sure if I have to read the book or just watch the movie.

    1. You should absolutely read the book. I really didn’t think I was going to like it when I started, but I actually loved it.

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