Apr 252012
 
Photo Courtesy of http://www.evenfromhere.org/?p=1536

Hello all! Hope your Wednesday is going well! Mine is very busy, which is pretty typical. For some reason Wednesdays are always crazy and I am running around trying to complete a million projects. However, I always get my one-hour lunch break so I have plenty of time to eat and blog. Hooray!

For this afternoon’s post, I’m going to do something a little different. Instead of providing a recap of my breakfast or a post about new healthy foods, I’m going to review The Book Thief by Markus Zusak as part of Peanut Butter Finger’s Book Club. Each month Julie over at PBF selects a book to read and then posts a review on her site. She links to bloggers who have also reviewed the book and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun! I actually read The Book Thief a few months ago, but I remember it pretty well so I’ll post the review anyway. Hopefully next month’s chosen book will be something new to me!

If you’re not interested in my book review just come back later tonight and I’ll have the normal workout and recipe posted for you. If you are visiting for the book review then welcome! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy my review and stick around to see what else I have to offer on my blog (which isn’t a ton yet since it’s still new). Anyway, without further ado…

The Book Thief

Brief Summary (with some spoilers!)

The Book Thief is a story told by “Death” and follows the life of a young girl in Germany during WWII. In the beginning of the story the heroine, Liesel, travels with her mother and brother to a new home in a different region of Germany. As a reader you know that Liesel’s mother is fleeing from something, but since the story is told from Liesel’s perspective, you are unclear of the details. While they are traveling to this new home, Liesel’s brother gets sick and dies. After his funeral, Liesel finds a book that was dropped by the grave-digger and decides to steal it, although she cannot read. Later, Liesel’s mother drops her off at the new home (which is a foster home) and leaves, never to return again. Liesel has to suddenly deal with this new home and the absence of the only family she ever knew. Liesel turns to the book that she stole for comfort. This first scene sets the tone for the rest of the story and foreshadows how Liesel will face many difficult situations in her life and will turn to her love of books to get through all of them. The books themselves, and later, learning to read them, brings a type of comfort to Liesel that she has a hard time finding from anywhere else. Liesel brings this love of reading to those around her and helps her friends and family get through difficult situations with her calm words. Liesel definitely does not live an easy life and throughout the book she deals with poverty, abandonment, loneliness, and of course the war and everything horrible that came along with it.

In the end, many of the people that Liesel has come to love die, and because the story is told by “Death,” the reader has an interesting perspective on how the events will unfold. The author’s use of foreshadowing prepares the reader for the horrible things that happen to Liesel’s family and friends, so while the end of the book is sad and definitely made me cry, I was somewhat prepared for it and was not as disheartened as I would have been otherwise.

My opinion

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and thought it was told beautifully. It was definitely an interesting narrative approach for the author to take and I appreciated the thoughtfulness behind it. In addition to the narrator selection, one of my favorite aspects of this book was the language the author used. The descriptions behind each event, character, and scene in the story are phenomenal and even though I read this book a few months ago, the vivid imagery still sticks out in my mind. The way this author uses words to describe things makes this novel a work of art. I really enjoyed the writing style.

As far as the story itself goes, I felt that sometimes it dragged on a little and I just wanted to know what the point of the story would be. I wanted to experience the traditional building of events until the eventual climax and I’m not sure I got that. Sometimes I felt like the story was really building up, only to have it fall back down again.  Although I did really appreciate learning about the German people during WWII, I sometimes couldn’t tell where the story was leading me. I realize now that each small event that I thought was leading up to something bigger, was actually just telling a story about Liesel herself. The book just wanted to tell the story of an inspiring and courageous girl during a difficult time. There was a ton of irony and symbolism in this story, some of which I probably missed, but what I did understand I definitely appreciated.

Overall I thought it was a great book and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

So, what did you guys think? Were there any particular symbols that stood out to you? What was your favorite part? What did you think about Liesel’s character? How did you feel about the end?

 Posted by on April 25, 2012

  2 Responses to “Book Review: The Book Thief”

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