Friday, June 3, 2011

Reader's Ramble- The Book Thief

For my seventh Reader's Ramble, I will be reviewing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak."It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement."

Dear Lord, where do I begin?

Plot- Loved it. It was such a interesting and sad story line. I hated the ending. It is so sad and just wasn't how I expected it. I mean I didn't actually HATE it. I'm just sad for the main character Liesel. She was one heck of a life. It kept me totally interested and obsessed all throughout the book. It started out with a punch, the death of Liesel's brother and the stealing of her first book. And it ended with a bang. A total surprise ending. Well sort of, Death revealed it to the reader a few chapters before. That made me angry. Like come on Death! Don't ruin the story for me! (For those of you who don't know, Death or the "Grim Reaper" is the narrator of the novel. Not Liesel.) Just plain loved it. I'm really interested in WWII, which is when this story takes place. I love learning more about it.

Setting- Munich in Nazi Germany. Great WWII setting. Helped me get the feel of life during that time period. Liesel lived on Himmel Street, which was a street where everyone knew each other. I like streets like that. Except that's what makes the ending all the more sad. I won't reveal anymore.. sigh..

Theme- Death is defiantly a big theme in this novel. Death, The Book Thief's narrator, keeps us constantly focused on mortality. To be clear, this Death has nothing to do with why people die. Rather, he's exists because people die. He has the task of separating their souls from their bodies and carrying those souls away. Death lets us know from the beginning pages that this is a tragic story.

War is another big theme. It impacts the character's choices and how they live their lives and everything that happens to them.

Another big theme is identity. Identity is a tricky business in Nazi Germany, especially if you are Jewish. To stay alive, a Jewish person must stay hidden. Being hated and persecuted takes a big toll on a person's identity, especially when it's combined with starvation, physical abuse, and the worst living conditions imaginable.

Characters- Loved them all! Liesel just is amazing. She stays strong and keeps going after everything that happened in her life. I just wanted her to kiss Rudy! The whole time I'm like JUST KISS HIM ALL FRIGGIN READY. But no. Oh gosh I can't start crying.. that ending.. so sad.. AAHHH.

Rudy, he's another one of my favorites. he's Liesel's best friend. His attitude just appeals to me.

Papa (Hans Hubberman) and Mama( Rosa Hubberman) were great too. Mama I didn't like right away though. Papa is just such a sweet guy and I wish I had him for a dad.

Max V, my favorite. He is the Jew they hide in their basement. Words can't describe my love for him and all the characters.

Even the narrator Death, he is hilarious. He just seems so wise. I love his figurative language. You know, even though he's Death, he still seems like a cool guy.

Overall-Defiantly the best book I've ever read in my life. No doubt. I've never read anything like it and nothing can compare. Everything I read after this is going to seem like nothing to this novel.

This is a book you are proud to hold in your hand and be seen with. I know I was proud to be reading it. I am also very protective of it. I will not allow this book to be ruined. It needs to be framed in a glass case.

Even though I didn't like how every thing turned out in the end, it was still an amazing and touching story. It is life changing. I will remember reading it forever and will defiantly be reading it again. No doubt about it.

I actually cried. I haven't cried for a book in about three years, and it wasn't much. this was actual tears. I was sitting in the back of the English room not paying attention to the lecture, so I read this. I started crying in that class. Good thing no one saw me. There's a lot of mouth dropping moments in this book also.

5/5 stars. No question there. I'd give it 10000 stars if I could.

Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read. This. Book. DO IT. READ. THIS. BOOK.

If I ever meet Markus Zusak, I'd hug him for creating this book.

To people who read this book-

Can someone please explain to me what Death means when he says in the very last line, "I'm haunted by humans." ? I know I should already know, but I don't. So if someone could explain it to me I'd appreciate it.

Did you cry when you read this? On what part? I cried when Liesel finally kissed Rudy.

And for Day three of the meme- My favorite TV shows are Pretty Little Liars, America's Got Talent, Shake it Up, and So You Think You Can Dance?


Anonymous said...

He's Haunted by How they could go on in life. Like how Leisel went on and had a good life even though almost everyone she loved died. Well at least thats what I got out of that line.

PS: This is Converse

Evie J said...

Eeek! I knew you'd love it! :D

And I think the last line has a lot of different meanings. Like what Converse said, but I also thought it meant that he's literally haunted by them. He's Death and they'll always be dying around him. He can never escape. But there's so much to that last line, and to many of the lines in the book. One of the reasons Markus Zusak is so amazing!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that this book is good... and after this review, I'm DYING to read it! I've been hoping to go to the library and get it for days already... now I REALLY have to get it! I'm intensely interested in WWII-era and the Holocaust. I can't wait to read this!!!

And I know what you mean about wanting to hug people. I want to hug Adam Young for his songs! (Adam Young is Owl City. :)

Paige said...

Thanks Evie and Converse! And yes Taylor, defiantly read it!