Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Alfed A. Knopf
Release: September 11, 2007
Pages: 576
Review: Five Stars

This book made me cry, sob, cheer, and all-out break down. The writing was fantastic. The book could have had no plot and I still would have loved it, it was so well written. But it had plot. Oh, it had plot. I jumped late on the Book Thief train, so I'm not sure how many of you have read it. With that in mind, I will try my hardest to make this as non-spoilery as possible. Just thinking about this book makes me want to cry all over again. For those wondering why, it is a holocaust story that takes place in Germany. I generally try to avoid holocaust stories, because I know that they will make me cry, yet I picked this one up. Why? Well, when I was in the theatre about to see City of Bones for the second time, my friend and I saw the trailer for the movie  adaptation of The Book Thief. We both looked at each-other and mouthed "I need to read this." I started the book and couldn't stop. Despite the tears and the heartbreak, I recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!

The main character is Liesel. She's a younger German girl who is adopted after her mother gives her up because she can't take care of her anymore. Liesel starts the book at about ten years old. At the beginning, Liesel is an innocent and slightly naive girl. Yet here's the catch, the story is narrated by Death, not Liesel. Death will skip around and mention things that happen years ahead of what's going on. When the story begins, Death is telling the reader that he sees Liesel, whom he calls the Book Thief, three times. First, when her brother dies. Second, when a pilot crashes. And third, when the street she lives on is bombed. How Death knows her story is explained in bits and pieces. How he knows it is yet another sad aspect of the book. After Liesel's father teaches her how to read, she begins to steal books. This eventually earns her the nickname The Book Thief from characters who know of her actions. Other characters include Rudy, who is the male protagonist and Liesel's best friend. He is a character that I enjoyed tremendously. Liesel's adoptive father Hans is spectacular and her adoptive mother Rosa is easily the most hilarious character in the book. Max is a Jew who hides in their basement for a period of time. I love him so much, but do not envy what he's been through.

This book is not for the faint of heart. Though I think just about anyone could enjoy it, it drives the readers' emotions to the breaking point. I had my doubts about the book, but I was gripped from page one. It's a read that you will not regret nor forget. It's very long, which can look daunting, but it's not as long as it looks when your in the midst of WW2. Events are constantly skipping back and forth, making skimming the book near impossible. More often then not, one line or one paragraph are more important than the entire chapter as a whole. I recommend this book from the bottom of my heart and, once you're done, we can sob with our "In Case of Feels" tissue boxes together.

Author Bio:
Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfeand When Dogs Cry (also known as Getting the Girl), released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honours in his native Australia, and the USA.

The Messenger (or I am the Messenger), published in 2002, won the 2003 Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize), as well as receiving a Printz Honour in America. It also won numerous national readers choice awards across Europe, including the highly regarded Deutscher Jugendliteraturprize in Germany.

It is The Book Thief, however, that has established Markus Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia. To date, The Book Thief has held the number one position at,, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia. It has also been in the top five bestsellers in the UK and several other territories. It has amassed many and varied awards, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. It was the only book to feature on both the USA and UK World Book Night Lists in 2012, and has now been adapted into a major motion picture.

Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.

You Can Find Him At:


The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

You Can Find it At:

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