Book Review #44: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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.

 

 

 

five stars
Five Stars!

 

 

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Book Review #15: The Help by Kathyrn Sockett

Three ordinary women are about to take an extraordinary step…

“Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She’s always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny has certainly never held her tongue, or held onto a job for very long, but now she’s working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother’s lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, but Costantine has inexplicably disappeared.

Together, these seemingly different women join to work on a project that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town-to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it’s really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the south. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and the sometimes humorous boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with one intention: hope for a better day.”

If I could say only one word about this book, I would say ‘Powerful’. This book truly lives up to that word. The books starts off slow, possibly because of the introduction to the various characters and places.

It was pretty much never a dull moment in this book, whether the good or the bad happened, it always kept up the suspense of reading on. I could never pick and choose which character I favoured more than another, but I absolutely loathed Miss Hilly Hillbrook and wanted to punch her in the face.

I will compare this book to “To Kill A Mockingbird” if i have to, because this novel shows similar themes to it. Prejudice and extreme discrimination to the African American community, law enforcement who won’t hesitate to place a black person in jail, whether they committed a crime or not. This novel is just as powerful as that classic.

After a whole bunch of supernatural novels, this book was a wonderful break from it all because it was real and the story could have been non-fiction. I enjoyed the history and the plot a lot. You truly begin to root and care for the characters as the story goes on and they develop.

Overall, if you read “To Kill A Mockingbird”, you need to read this book. Even if you have not read it, you need to read this book.

My Rating