The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sometimes there are books that are just written so beautifully that you want to cuddle up with each sentence and caress them forever. Although I had heard great things about The Book Thief, the description of World War II, death and stealing had me wary at first, but I finally decided to buy it this past summer. And it’s not a decision I’ve ever regretted.
The Book Thief is written like no other book I’ve ever read. Zusak treats every single word like it matters, and the adjectives he uses to describe different things in the book is unlike anything I’ve ever heard of. He’ll describe the sky as red like soup and add tiny, single word details like that that are simply genius and make you stop and consider the words on the page rather than the story itself.
While it does take place during World War II, that doesn’t make the story any less compelling. It’s completely unique from any other period story I’ve ever read and the way the characters are constructed makes you care about these tiny individuals in this greater plan of death and war and destruction and hope. The Book Thief herself makes you root for her and love her, as do her adoptive parents and Max and Rudy, and the rest of Himmel Street as well.
The only negative I can say about this book is that it took me forever to read it. I began reading it last summer when I first bought it, but eventually kept forgetting to pick it up and then forgot about it altogether. I finally got around to finishing it this winter break, in three several long sittings ending with me and a box of tissues. Just like the rest of the book, the ending leaves you emotionally raw and surprised, and although it’s not the happiest, it still fills you with hope.
I’d recommend this book to, well, anyone really, anyone who loves beautiful words and beautiful stories that are both tragic and lovely.