Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: The Book Thief

Review by Elinor
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Rating: 4/5

Plot: Even though she couldn't read, Liesel Meminger's life changed when she picked up The Grave Digger's Handbook at her brother's graveside. After her brother's unexpected death, she is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Her new foster father teaches her to read, and from that point on, she can't get enough of it. When Hans and Rosa hide a Jew in their basement, Liesel is curious of this young man named Max. In their time together, Liesel and Max form a friendship, and he challenges her to be creative with the words given to her, and to hold on to hope.

This book was beautifully heartbreaking. I really don't know how else to put it. It was one of the most devastating stories I have ever read, but it was mixed with just enough hope and humor to make it bearable. I think that the writing used to tell this story was absolutely incredible. The story itself is one that I know I will never forget. Set in 1940s Nazi Germany, it showed a side of the World War II that I never really considered.

Characters: I don't think that I have ever bonded with characters of a book as well as I did with the ones of The Book Thief. I fell in love with every single one of them, most especially Hans Hubermann. Other than him though, Rudy (who becomes Liesel's closest friend) had to be my favorite. Those two characters had me laughing and crying the most.

Emotion: As you can probably already tell, this book was very emotional. If you are looking for a light-hearted, fun story, this is not it. However, it has to be one of the most touching stories I have ever read. There was humor in the book as well as sorrow, but as I said before, it was only enough to make it bearable.

Thoughts: Out of all the good things of this book, I chose to rate it 4/5 because of the use of profanity throughout. Although this book didn't have an inappropriate word in every chapter, the humor that was expressed in the book was usually expressed with one. If it weren't for this, I would rate this book 500/5, but the language used made me feel uncomfortable on numerous occasions, and I felt that it was something that needed to be mentioned in my review. For this reason, and for the over-all heaviness of the sorrow in the book, I would only recommend this book to a more mature audience.

Favorite Quotes:

The only thing worse than a boy who hates you:
a boy who loves you

She was home, among the mayor's books of every color and description, with their silver and gold lettering. She could smell the pages. She could almost taste the words as they stacked up around her.

In the tree shadows, Liesel watched the boy. How things had changed, from fruit stealer to bread giver. His blond hair, although darkening, was like a candle. She heard his stomach growl - and he was giving people bread.

...I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.

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