A Book Review of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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Firstly, apologies are in order.  Both of our schedules have been quite hectic which sadly has left little time for reading. Therefore, you may have noticed that we have missed few Friday postings.  We’re sorry!  We are hoping to get some major reading time in the near future.  I have finally finished a book that has been on my to read list for quite sometime as it is to be turned in to a movie sometime in the near future. A coworker actually lent me a copy of this book, telling me fondly that it is her favorite book.  After reading it, I can see why.

The Good

The new take on an old setting: This book takes place slightly just before World War II in Germany. I am sure you think you already know where it is going.  I did too.  But the author did a wonderful job keeping me on my toes.  It was different than I thought it was going to be, an element that I really appreciated.

The new take on a narrator: In this novel, Death is the narrator. This fact, combined with the new, simplistic and staccato prose, makes for some beautiful passages.   I love the fact that death is telling us this story all along.  The personification of death is well-done and just makes the book so unique.

The story: Liesel is a young girl who, like the title implies, steals books.  But she really goes through so much more.  The story is beautifully told and crafted.  This is an amazing read.

The characters: There is a really diverse cast of characters and I immediately was heavily invested in them, especially Liesel.

The Bad

Some of the writing. In effort to create his own style, the author would often inject these bold two sentence snippets in the middle of the page. They were usually titled as announcements of some kind – apparently this is how death tells stories. I appreciate the effort, but I at first found these moments in the novel totally abrupt and distracting in a not-so-great way.  I got more used to it as the book continued, but it still annoyed me,  I could have done without this method.

The Verdict

A must read, especially for anyone who considers themselves a book lover.  The movie adaptation will undoubtedly be interesting and will probably be out soon… so you should read it before then.


Written by Rachel B.

Rachel is a co-creator and writer at Definitely Not for the Birds (DNFB). She recently graduated with a degree in English. Presently, she writes, reads, and then reads and writes some more, with a giant and ever-present mug of green tea in her hand. Follow Rachel @rrbindl and DNFB @not4birds

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