As told by an embodiment of Death himself, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel, a young girl taken in by a German foster family on the brinks of World War II, the bonds she shares with her new family and friends, and the jew she hides in her basement. When she steals the Gravedigger’s Handbook after her biological brother’s funeral, it blossoms in her a love for literature, and, for stealing it.
This book has beautiful and poetic language, and quotes I wish I had written; they were that good. However, if you are not interested in meandering descriptions or flowery language, this may not be the book for you.
Death as the narrator is a unique but inspired choice, as the many terrors and deceased of World War II would be missed through the eyes of a child. It was over 500 pages, and although it took me about a month to get through, it was completely worth the wait. There are even parts of mixed media in this novel; gut-wrenching and visceral as it used many tools of metaphor.
Liesel was not ignorant of the atrocities, nor was she apathetic (not by choice anyway). As the main character, she had some growing to do, some empathy to learn, and stories to tell. She was not annoying, she was at times heartbreaking to learn about. The outright distaste for the difference in others was shown through the actions outside of our group of characters that we followed, even though Molching was such a small town, with a poor Himmel street.
If you tend to be an emotional reader, this book will definitely make you very emotional. I cannot wait to read more by Markus Zusak, as this book completely blew me away. I hope you at least give it a chance; it felt like heart and soul was left on the pages.