Book number 22: The Book Thief by M. Zusak. This is my favorite book of 2012 so far and I’m so grateful to the lovely scud for sending me a copy. Thank you, scud! 🙂
What it is: Nazi Germany. This is the setting of The Book Thief, at a time known as The Holocaust. Separated from her communist family, the book thief Liezel, discovers the power of words in a moving tale that is both beautiful and brutal all at the same time, narrated by no less than Death himself.
It is filled with insights on humanity, love, friendship, hope, sacrifice, loss, and courage among others, and words… books, writing, reading, the hunger for it all. All book lovers should read The Book Thief.
What I liked about it: The Book Thief certainly contains ingredients that can induce chest heaviness but it surprisingly is a light, breezy read, filled with tons of adventure that can be a challenge to put down! The storytelling is rich, gripping, and transporting. Many times I’ve read feeling like a distant observer but in this one my heart raced as the chapters wore on and I became a reluctant participant, even feeling scared for a moment or two in all the thievery, in all its shapes and forms, that went on.
On page 38, there is a line that goes, “How do you check if something’s alive? You check for breathing.” In this case, The Book Thief is alive for me. The characters are believable, relatable. I fell in love with them all. I can picture my own parents in the Hubermanns, I loved the friendship between Liezel and Rudy, I will not forget the mayor’s wife, and I totally wanted to punch the faces of the senior boys in Hitler Youth. 😆 I also appreciate the new take on Death – his character is solid and strong within the book.
Also, the repeated apperance of 33 Himmel St. in The Book Thief gave me that Harry Potter feeling about 4 Privet Drive! The Book Thief is really a special work and it gave me the same feeling when I read The Shack, my favorite book last year.
What I did not like about it: I honestly cannot think of anything to complain about The Book Thief. I loved every bit of it. Despite the violence, thievery, abuse, corruption, injustice, and anything and everything wrong about the Fuhrer’s regime, The Book Thief fits all elements perfectly well to come up with a tale that is moving and memorable, triumphing the human spirit, in all its tainted glory. I know I will read The Book Thief again.
Recommended for: all book lovers.