The Book Thief

It’s been quite awhile since I posted a book review, but I’ve got a great read to share with y’all today!
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is actually a book I started months ago, and for some reason it took me forever to finish. And it’s not because the book is bad, quite the opposite actually, it just wasn’t one of those novels that I couldn’t put down. It’s been on my radar for awhile now, but I was motivated to start it back in April when Julie chose it for the PBFingers Book Club. Since then I’ve gotten sidetracked and read other things, but I kept reading it little by little, and now that I’ve finally finished it I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
The book is written in a very unconventional style that’s extremely descriptive yet choppy so it’s a little disconcerting at first. The book also has a unique narrator–death. Because the book takes place in Germany during WWII, death is constantly present so I thought the choice to personify him and use him as a narrator was very clever. The book centers around a young girl named Liesel who is given up for adoption by her birth mother and taken in by foster parents in the town of Molching, Germany. The book takes us through period of years in WWII Germany where we get to see Liesel grow up and go though many different experiences. In the beginning, she doesn’t know how to read at all however, her foster father teaches her and she falls in love with words/reading. She ends up stealing quite a few books over the course of the story hence how the book gets its title.

Another key element of the story is that Liesel’s foster parents end up hiding a Jewish man named Max in their basement, and the story showcases the bond that he develops with the family and Liesel. The story also revolves around Liesel’s relationship with her neighbor and best friend Rudy, and he is her constant support and partner in crime. The entire story is full of many emotionally captivating moments, and the level of descriptions in the book is strange and vivid, yet poignant. One of the things that really struck me is just the everyday events that occur that are made to seem normal like the kids having to go to Hitler Youth Meetings or having Jews paraded through their town on a regular basis on their way to concentration camps. It seems so strange to read about, but for the characters in the book it was a part of their life during that time.

I was initially hesitant to read this book because although I find WWII to be very interesting, stories that take place during this time period, and particularly stories involving the Holocaust, can be so emotionally draining to read sometimes. I was worried that this book was just going to be super heavy and depressing, but it ended up being much different than I expected. While there are definitely very sad and emotional moments, the overall story had a lot of of moments of happiness too. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely a really good read. If you enjoy historical fiction, I’d definitely suggest putting it on your summer reading list!

That’s all for me today friends, I’ve got lots of work to finish up before the weekend! I’m super excited because one of my best friends from high school is coming to Tahoe later today to stay with us for the weekend, and the weather is supposed to be beautiful. I’m looking forward to lots of sunshine, good food, girl talk, and time by the lake over the next few days! Hope your weekend is fabulous as well! Xoxo