Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Book Thief Review

In Nazi Germany, a girl is brought to a foster home, for reasons she is only mildly sure of. Her brother was supposed to be with her, but instead she has a book that she stole from his burial. When she arrives to Himmel Street, she doesn't know what to expect. What she finds is a family in the face of global tragedy. Then a man by the name of Max shows up at her door one night, and things start to grow grim.

Really that is all I can tell you about The Book Thief without spoilers, though the book itself does give you various spoilers throughout. This is because the narrator is Death, and Death has little time for building suspense and mystery.

The unique narrator is just one of the things that makes this book memorable. Another would be the author's choice to set this book inside Germany during WWII. There's also the writing, and the fantastic characters Zusak brings to life.

All of these things take a while to culminate together and make you truly care, but once you do, man, you do. Which is what makes the ending so gut-wrenching.

In the end I just wanted to let you know that all of those things you've heard about The Book Thief over the years are 100% true. Yep, it'll make you laugh and cry (or sob). Yep, it'll have you pondering the frailty of life and the bonds we form. Yep, you should definitely ignore the thickness of it and just read it.

Plot: Gorgeously woven and intense.
Characters: Fantastic. I felt like I was living on Himmel Street myself.
Writing: See above.
Ending: Writing Marcus Zusak some hate mail.
Content warning: There are, of course, mentions of the brutality of the period. However, there aren't as many as there could have been. There's some swearing, but it's mostly in German. This one is probably better suited for an older teen, though.
Don't you EVER interrupt me while I'm reading a book/crying.
Though I took my sweet time getting through The Book Thief, it still captured my heart fully. Days after reading it, I'm still thinking about it.

I received my copy for free from my library.


  1. This book is waiting on my shelf to be read for ages. I'll finally be able to get around to reading it after exams. Yay! Great review! Increased my excitement!

  2. I. AM. OBSESSED. WITH. THIS. BOOK. So obsessed. It was assigned reading for a YA writing course I took last semester, and I took my sweet time with it. Though Death gives us some spoilers, he is a beautiful narrator and much more sympathetic and not as spooky and ominous as one would expect. He gives us a beautiful sense of place, and I was in love with all of the characters (especially Rudy, sigh.) I was so obsessed, that once I was finished reading the book, I went to see the play adaptation at a theater here in Chicago (the book thief was the book for the city wide book club of sorts), and then went to ANOTHER thing to see Markus Zusak speak. A book so near & dear to my heart.


Your comments feed the greedy comment-addicted blogger inside of me. Thanks for keeping me going.