Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3902
Possibly my favorite book ever?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I don’t even know where to begin. This book is a cross of everything I look for in a book: beautifully written, characters that are so easy to care about, messages and themes that melted my heart, a plot with hope intertwined in desolation. It was all just so gorgeous. I promise you, you will not see me give five stars to plot, characters, AND writing for most books.

That said, this book is a little bit hard to get in to. It’s narrated from the perspective of Death, who is more sympathetic and compassionate than you might imagine – maybe even more so than humans. The above little paragraph I wrote is how I felt upon the second time I read the book, whereas the first time, I thought it was simply an average book and only revisited it about a year later. It’s a bit confusing at the start of the book, which is why I felt I was more able to appreciate the book a second time through.

Zusak’s use of Death as narrator is actually pretty brilliant. He’s got an excellent last sentence that is rather ironic, but portrays a very striking message. It’s so easy to love all the characters, no matter who they are. And I want to just say: the writing. The writing. THE WRITING. Wow. I have never read a book that compared to this level of writing because Zusak’s style is so unique and beautiful and heartbreaking and able to convey the most complex ideas through the most simple sentences. There’s a chapter near the end of the book that takes up less than a page – I had already been crying for quite a bit, but those few sentences completely threw me over the edge.

Which reminds me: this is a sad book. Lots of hope in it too, but it’s really just so tragic to read sometimes. I mean, come on, a book taking place in Nazi Germany and looking at the lives of a family who is very much accepting of Jews. I felt like I was constantly crying in the last fifty pages or so (probably less), but every time I thought I was going to stop, I’d read something else that’d make me feel so awfully sad again.

Recommended for: those with an appreciation for beautiful writing style, anyone who wants a unique viewpoint of World War II, people who want to learn a few German curse words, and everyone else, too.
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