Monday, September 24, 2012

The Book Thief

This is how my last few days have been spent

It has been a very long time since I've read a book worth reviewing. Never before have I been so grabbed by a story. I wanted to quickly devour every page but at the same time go slowly and let it all seep in. Does that make any sense? Dare I say this is the best book I've ever read? I definitely cared more for the characters in this book than I have reading any other book. I started to fall in love after just a few chapters. 

The story is narrated by Death. I expected him to be dark, creepy, and scary. He's actually very tell it like it is, sarcastic, and even funny at times. Death foreshadows all of the events to come. It takes away that need to know what happens next. Death has already told you, and now he is going to take you on the journey to get there. He tells the story of Liesel. A young girl growing up with her foster family, Hans and Rosa, in Nazi Germany. She's already lost so much by the time she reaches her new home. She finds comfort in stealing books. When she steals her first book she can't even read. I think as she begins to learn to read and continues to steal the words give her something to hold onto. My favorite quote from the book is
  "Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain." 
Reading those words again makes me a little teary eyed. 
Liesel's family hides a Jew named Max in their basement. Max is the son of Liesel's foster father's friend.  The book follows the bonds she forms with her foster family, Max, her friend Rudy, and the mayor's wife. I cared so much for the characters. Even though Death foreshadows the sad events to come it doesn't make it any easier when they arrive. This is definitely a book to read with tissues.  This book will stay with me a for a very long time. It is a must read!


One of my favorite characters in the book was the mayor's wife. I was about to say she doesn't play a large part in the book, but she does. She is the source of many of Liesel's books. She also gives Liesel the journal to write her own story in, which becomes The Book Thief.  This book saves Liesel's life. She is kind to Liesel when Liesel is rude to her. After she realizes Liesel is stealing from her library she continues to make it easy for Liesel to get into the room to steal. She even writes Liesel a letter letting her know she is aware of the thievery and invites her to use the front door next time. I found myself thinking about her when the book ended. I wondered if she survived. What were her views on the war? I really think she cared for Liesel and that made me care for her.

It is so hard to pick my favorite part of the book because there were several parts of the book that really touched me. 

*When the mayor's wife leaves the dictionary in the window to be stolen. Inside the dictionary is a letter to Liesel.

*When Hans gives the bread to the Jew marching to Dachau and is punished for it. "When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa's shins. He burried his face between them and thanked him."

* When Liesel reads to her neighbors for the first time in the air raid shelter (a basement of a neighboring home).

*When Max leaves the note for Hans under the bridge that says, "You've done enough."

*When Max sees Liesel as he marches through Molching. Liesel looks for Max every time the Jews were made to march through her town. As long as she doesn't see him she knows there is a chance is is safe somewhere. Then one day sadly, she sees Max. 
 "There were twigs of hair, just like Liesel thought, and the swampy eyes stepped across, shoulder to shoulder over the other Jews. When they reached her, they pleaded. His beard stroked down his face and his mouth shivered as he said the word, the name, the girl. Liesel."

*When Max and Liesel are reunited after the war.

I borrowed this book from the library. I am going to buy my own copy because I have to own this book. I know I will want to read it again someday. This book made me feel more than any other book has. I laughed. I cried. I worried about the characters. I feel like I know them, like they're real. I love this book.


  1. I absolutely LOVED this book. I think its time for a re-read :)

  2. SOOOO glad you loved this book. It really is a spectacular book. I tend to rave about it a lot on my blog.
    READ A Fault in our Stars!! You will like it, I promise.

  3. This is probably one of the top five books that changed my life, or maybe (in less dramatic phrasing) my perspective of reading in general. You should read his other novel, I Am the Messenger, which may not have SUCH a powerful message, but I was just as moved by the story in its own particular way.

    I need to re-read this! It's been too long.


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