Sunday, July 09, 2006

Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusack

This is a beautiful, haunting, humorous, horribly sad, amazing book. The story, narrated by death, is set in WWII, and follows a few years from the life of Leisel, a German girl who is taken in by foster parents in a poor section of Germany after her brother dies and her mother is taken away.
The book primarily follows the life of Leisel, her best friend Rudy, and several other children. Seeing such a horrible time in history through the eyes of children is what makes this book so haunting. Playing soccer on the street, stealing apples so they can eat that day, riding bikes around piles of burning books - it's children being children amidst such ruin... This book really got to me. About half way through, the narrator (death) reveals a good portion of the ending, and even when I knew what was coming, I still cried through the last 15 pages. I was just so drawn into the story, so invested in the characters that I couldn't help but cry for Leisel and what she endures.
I will admit that at times the writing could be a little cheesy, as the book is targeting a young adult crowd. But getting beyond that is easy with such a compelling story. It's nothing earth-shattering, or ground-breaking, but it's human. I would really highly recommend this book. As for me, I'm going to try to read something lighthearted now... 5 sad books in a row will do that to me, I suppose...
Right, anyway..
Jen's Grade: A+


Kim said...

Agh! I've wanted to read this since it came out months ago! I heard a great review of it on NPR. I'm glad you liked it!

Jen said...

yes, yes, you must read it!