The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Oh.

My.

God.

How do I….

Wow.

Just, wow.

I just finished the Book Thief by Markus Zusak which got a crazy amount of praise from critics, and loads of my friends. Every single person i follow on goodreads has given it 5 stars. Every person I know who loves to read either loves the book or is planning to read it.

OH GOD IT WAS SO GOOD.

So. Summary.

The book is narrated by death. It is about 9 year old Liesel living in Nazi Germany during the second world war. And everything that ensues, with her love of books, her awesome best friends, the mayor’s wife, her awesome parents, Max… It was just so… Man. I am so mindblown.

Cons

So….

Um…

Hmmm….

Oh. I don’t like the cover of the copy I have. I prefer the one with the dominoes. And that’s being really picky. I do like this cover a lot, I just prefer the domino one.

Pros

SO. MANY. PROS.

I don’t even know where to begin. Everything in this book is perfect. PERFECT. PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT.

And it feels so real! I felt like I really was reading a biography of a real girl named Liesel who lived in Nazi Germany. I was so sucked into everything. Every single character had a purpose and were 3D. Actually, they were like 10D. They were so realistic that I could just imagine them all there with me. They were such real people. They seemed so… Human. Even Death, though strange and sarcastic and completely blunt. I loved all of it. Every single character tore my heart up and pulled it back together and then trod on it so hard that I was holding my hand to my mouth with shock.

Characters

At first I loved Hans, and didn’t really like Rosa. I wondered why someone like Hans would marry someone like Rosa, but I understood throughout the book how, though she is strict, she really does love Liesel and is so kind and brave. The point in the book where I thought “JESUS THIS WOMAN IS AWESOME!” is when she went and shouted at Liesel about the hairbrush. And of course Liesel was awesome. Every little action or description of her was so realistic and human and strong. Sure, she makes TONS of mistakes. But she always feels so much regret that you know it’s tearing her up inside. And when it feels like every single person she loves is leaving her you just want to run towards her and hug her like “Liesel! I’m here! I don’t care that you’re fictional and I live in 2012 I’ll save you!!!!” The best part, in my opinion, was when Viktor (is that how it’s spelt?) blows smoke in her face and she doesn’t react. She just stands her ground, being so awesome. You just know she’s thinking “Oh yeah. I’m just gonna stand here and be badass. Go on. Try me.”

And I loved Rudy. But not in a way that the author does it so that you fall in love with him (Like Jace in the Mortal Instruments. I think Cassandra Clare really wanted us to fall in love with him as much as Clary does.), but in a way that he’s so real and childlike but still having to deal with all these deaths and bombings. Every detail he adds about Rudy is so amazing. How he picks up Liesel’s swearing, his Jesse Owen’s moment, the football game when they first meet, how his hair was always the colour of lemons… I loved all of it. I found him so endearing, because he felt so human.

And the narration was so beautiful. The opening lines just show you that the book’s narration is going to be amazing.

  • “First the colours.
    Then the humans.
    That’s usually see things.
    Or at least, how I try.”

I would quote way more, if I could. I would quote the entire book. It was just so amazing. I don’t even want to put it into a category, because it really is it’s own. It’s just so much like a biography it’s unbelievable. I really believe that Markus Zusak is a genius now.

It is seriously the most beautiful writing style I’ve ever read.

  • “Perhaps ten meters to my left, the pale, empty-stomached girl was standing, frost-stricken.
    Her mouth jittered.
    Her cold arms were folded.
    Tears were frozen to the book thief’s face.”

 

And THE END.

THE END.

It killed me. Oh man, it killed me, then resurrected me, and then killed me again. Because it was that cruel.

The last meeting with the book thief had me feeling so much, I was just… TOO MANY EMOTIONS. Just seeing every single character that you care about, and fell in love with go through so much is so hard. And even all the minor characters, all the ones you should hate, you still love them. Frau Holtzapfel. I should have hated her. But I loved her character as well, even though she wasn’t a nice person.

And, (this is the least spoiler-y way I can put it), there’s this thing about Rudy that Death tells you will happen, because mystery bores him. And Markus Zusak teases you every time. Every time something happens you’re sure that Rudy is going to meet this future, and you start biting your nails, but it never happens. And then when it does… It’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve read. It is way worse than “that death” in the knife of never letting go (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean. And, yeah, I’m being serious. It’s worse. You’ll think I’m kidding but I’m not. I’m really not.) What happens to Rudy is so sad because it feels like it really did happen. In the Chaos Walking series, they are amazing books, but you can totally tell they are fiction when you’re reading them. And Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Gone, Leviathan… But this. Man, it hits you hard in the chest. It really does. It stomps all over your little heart and tap dances all over it until you’re dead for the third time.

Quotes 

THIS IS WORSE THAN WHEN I TRIED TO FIND QUOTES FOR THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. THERE ARE TOO MANY. HOW DO I… I CAN’T… HELP ME. AND I HAVE TO LEAVE ALL OF THE SPOILER-Y ONES OUT. LIFE IS SO HARD.

  • “I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
  • “A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”
  • “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
  • “Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out.”
  • “A final moment of eclipse – the recognition of another soul gone.
    You see, to me, for just a moment, despite all of the colours that touch and grapple with what I see in this world, I will often catch an eclipse when a human dies.
    I’ve seen millions of them.
    I’ve seen more eclipses than I care to remember.”
  • “Please, trust me, I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that’s only the A’s. Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.”
  • “I am haunted by humans.”

Overall

Guys. Guys. Guess what rating I’m gonna give this. Go on, guess. That’s right. 5 shuriken stars. That’s right. 5 freaking ninja stars for an amazing book. Do I recommend you to read this? Hell yeah! I recommend anyone that can read words to read this. I loved it. It’s definitely going to become a classic, I hope. Markus Zusak is brilliant. The book is brilliant. And everyone, everything, and every part is brilliant. Brutal, honest, and sad but worse because you know that somewhere, in Germany during World War II, someone will have lived through at least one part of this book. Many people, in fact. Thousands upon thousands of people.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow what a review! I think you’ve convinced me to read this book

    Reply

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