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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak~★★★1/2

Author: Markus Zusak
Title:
The Book Thief
Release Date:
September 11th, 2007
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Genre:
Fiction

Book Cover:"'How does it feel?' 'How does what feel?' 'When you take one of those books?' At that moment, she chose to keep still. If he wanted an answer, he'd have to come back, and he did. 'Well?' he asked, but again, it was the boy who replied, before Liesel could even her mouth. 'It feels good, doesn't it? To steal something back.'"

Taryn's Review:
I heard a lot of hype about this book and was excited to finally read it. I'm not one to normally get into Young Adult books, but this one had such glowing reviews that I knew I had to give it a chance.

At first, I almost quit the book. I hated the narrator. He was a big turnoff for me, but I pushed through and once I got into the heart of the story, I was intrigued enough to stay. Liesel Meminger was given to the Hubermann family, who lived on Himmel Street in a German community and Liesal was raised as their foster daughter. Liesel made a life for herself in Molching, Germany, right before the start of World War II and as Liesel was still grappling with the horrors of her own past.

I did not find myself attached to Liesel as much as I was to the young man who was Liesel's best friend and neighbor named Rudy Steiner. He was sweet, but still had his tough exterior when he needed it. I could tell in his heart he only wished good things for Liesel, and as he got older, I loved how he kept pestering her for a kiss!

At one point in the book, the Hubermanns hid a Jew in their basement by the name of Max. I really felt uncomfortable with Max and Liesel's relationship. I know it wasn't sexual or romantic, but it still felt like Max was doing something wrong with Liesel, perhaps depending too much on the child for comfort and hope. I can't quite explain it, but I just didn't like it.

As with many around the globe, WWII permanently altered the only world Liesel and the others on Himmel Street had ever known. Although not the best book I've ever read (and maybe not deserving for as much hype as it got) I would still recommend this book to anyone, adult or young adult, and if you're like me and turned off by the narrator, just keep going and ignore him. It's worth the read (and you will need tissues). I normally would prefer a little more of an adult vocabulary, but keep in mind, this book is written for Young Adults.

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