The Book Thief

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wow.
(Updated: April 12, 2015)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
It is easy to say that this book is unforgettable. Because it really is. I will never in this lifetime forget The Book Thief.
It's the other words to describe my feelings toward this book that I find hard to think about.

Heartbreakingly beautiful.
Hauntingly splendid.
Mesmorizingly stunning.

The fact that this book is told from death's perspective is simply brilliant.
The writing is spectacular. Like all of Zusak's books.

I don't know. I will just never forget the feeling of staring at the wall in my room after finishing the last chapter.
Stunning.
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Read This.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
THE BOOK THIEF is hauntingly sad, yet told (by Death himself!) with a warmth that still enables a reader to hope--even in the most barren of times.

I finally picked this book up because so many people raved about the beautiful prose, something I'm a total sucker for. But what I got was so much more. Yes, the prose is gorgeous, there's no denying it, but while enjoying the words, I accidentally fell in love with the characters. Though their stories ended with the book, I think they'll stay alive for me for a long, long time.
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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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"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still."
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kayla (Midnight Twilight)

Liesel Meminger is growing up in Nazi Germany. Although she is not a Jew, it's still a very hard time for all of Germany. There are bombs and food shortages and all the Jews are disappearing. Liesel's book stealing begins after her brother dies on a train bringing them to their foster parents house. Her and her mother get off the train at an unnamed town to bury her brother. At the graveyard Liesel finds a book in the snow The Grave Digger's Handbook. This spurs Liesel's love of books and words. The only problem, she never learned how to read. With the help of her foster father (Papa) she learns how to read and write. Her Papa is a painter, an accordionist, and a man of his word. So when he makes a promise to his fallen friend's wife that if she ever needs any help he's there. When her son Max, a Jew, needs to hide from the Nazis Hans (Papa) needs to make good on his promise. Now that their hiding a Jew in their basement life is harder than ever, and then the bombs come. The Book Thief is an amazing modern look into the life of Nazi Germany during the holocaust.


I don't think i've ever had more to say about a book before. I was pulled into this book very quickly, i fell in love with it.
I've never seen a book written like this, for many different reasons. I love how the narrator is a character in the story; the narrator is also death. He takes people's souls as they are dieing. I also like the way it was written--with little side notes thrown into the story.
I thought the first few chapters were cool, how the narrator was explaining his background and how this story came to be (how he met the book thief.)
This book has the story of a classic, but the feel of a modern book. All book lovers will be pulled in.
What i didn't like was all the death, i mean, in this story and setting it was inevitable, but it was still very sad. If you want a nice light summer read don't pick up this book. If you want a story that will get under your skin and truly move you, this is the book to read.
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Absolutely Must Read. End of story.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
As I was reading this book, I realized that it would probably be the best book I would ever read. Marcus Zusak writes so beautifully, weaving together this sad story in such a way that you become so attached to the characters that it is impossible to put down. It has the perfect balance of heartfelt moments and tearjerkers. From death's point of view is the blatant reality of it all mixed with amazing realizations, but he still preserves the innocence of the story because he follows the life of a small girl in Nazi Germany and her views to the whole ordeal. It is truly a beautifully written and amazing story. You would have to be insane not to read this book.
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Stealing Readers and Books!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Isabell

This book was one of the best books I've read in a while! From the second I picked it up to the second I put it down, I never once wanted to leave it's pages. It told the story of a girl growing up during the rein of Hitler, has seen her brother die, was given away by her mother, has a foul-mouthed foster mother, a foster father with silver eyes, she befriends a Jew, is best friends with a boy who loves to run, and she steals books. From the Governor. Did I mention the book is narated by Death? almost kind of creepy, but it just made the story even better. Every page is filled with a different suprise, some that will make you cry, others that will make you cheer with joy. after reading this book you will never be the same. it is a truely awesome book!
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The best book I have ever read
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Amanda

I have read a lot of good books, a lot of great books even, but never have I come across a book that has affected me quite like this one has. I finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak on Friday night, sobbing, after reading the 500+ page book in about a day. I could not stop reading this book. Zusak tells the story of Liesel, a young German girl, growing up in Nazi Germany. The entire book is narrated by Death, which gives the reader a clue that this book certainly is not going to be a happy, cheerful one in the least, but surprisingly, Death does a great job as the Narrator. We meet Liesel as she is on her way to a foster family, her mother no longer able to care for her and her younger brother in times of extreme poverty and sickness. Within the first five pages, her younger brother dies right in front of her. This is just the beginning of the horror and tragedy that Liesel will endure through this novel. We get to see Liesel learn to to love words and view books as treasures only granted to those worthy enough to hold them. We see an intense love of family, friendship, and normalcy. Most importantly, we get to view the extreme ruthlessness of the Nazi world through the eyes of a child expected to be a Nazi herself. Rarely do we get that in books. This is a true gem...I have never read anything better. I would recommend every single one of you read this book, it was completely magical.
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Beautiful
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Absolutely brilliant! With Death as the narrator, this book takes you through a few years in the life of a girl living through the second world war. Although world war books tend to be the same, this gives it a different angle. The fact that they talk about books a lot is a bonus ;) Very good!
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Death is Beautiful
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
This book had me at the first word. It's moving and the fact that it is narrated by Death just makes it that more gripping. It goes down as one of the best book's I have read. The characters felt so authentic. They jumped off the pages. The ending was so heart-breaking but beautifully written. I could read it over and over again.
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AMAZING
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Brian

In The Book Thief Markus Zusak tells the story of Leisel Meminger, a nine year-old orphan living in Nazi Germany. Leisel steals food in order to survive, but she steals books in order to live. Utilizing vivid language and a haunting tone Zusak honestly and eloquently portrays the struggles of a young girl faced with prejudice, fear, love and her own mortality. Although many of the adult characters in the book will find places of honor within the heart of the reader, Leisels courage, honesty and vulnerability mark her as the true heroine in The Book Thief.

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