I haven't mentioned it much on the blog before but I love reading and for me it's another key ingredient in my life that makes me happy. I love to talk about books and find myself falling in and out of love with characters in the stories I read. I am linking up with other bloggers once a month to do an online book club so I am going to start posting book reviews on the blog to switch things up a little. In addition to my book book club reviews I may on occasion mention other books that I am reading or ask for book recommendations from all of you.
The Book Thief
I had purchased this book at a used book store just weeks before Back to her Roots announced it was the book chosen for this months book club. While purchasing The Book Thief the lady behind the counter mentioned how wonderful it was and how they weren't able to keep it in the store long enough before someone else was snatching it up. Immediately I was intrigued and when I heard I would be able to read this book along with other bloggers for the online book club I was so excited.
Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in Germany during World War II, life begins to change after she begins stealing books and learning how to read from her foster father. Keeping a promise that he made long ago Hans, Liesel's father, agrees to hide a Jew in the basement of their home as German cities are being destroyed by air raids and the raging war. A complicated friendship is formed between the Jew hiding in the basement and Liesel's family. As Hitler is destroying people with words, Liesel is discovering the power of words, which will eventually lead her to write her own story and and save her life. This is a wonderful yet tragic story about courage, love, friendship and death.
Goodreads: 4.34 out of 5 stars( Based on 256,285 Ratings)
Amazon: 4.7 out of 5 stars (Based on 1,678 Ratings)
My score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I did not realize that death was the narrator in the story for the first 20 pages or so but once I did I felt that it was a different and creative approach by the author. Once I adapted to this writing style I was immediately hooked into the story. With the use of foreshadowing used often, Zusak does a wonderful job of keeping his readers engaged and wanting to keep reading. One of the things I found most interesting about this book is that it takes place in Nazi Germany, but focuses on Germans who don’t follow Hitler. He gives his readers a different perspective of this time in our history by showing that not all Germans agreed with Hitlers views and there were good people who wanted to care for and protect the Jews.
Although its not always noticeable at first, love and friendship is a recurring theme that takes place throughout the story. Of course there is Rudy and his love for Liesel. His love is the most obvious and as a reader you immediately fall in love with his character. From the moment Liesel moved into the Hubermann's house, Hans worked at gaining her love and trust while his wife Rosa was mean and harsh. I found Rosa to be the most surprising character of all. She first shows that she is in fact capable of love when she agrees to keep Max hidden in the basement. When Liesel catches Rosa with Hans accordion while he is away at war Rosa expresses a sadness that she has not shown before then. Then there is the friendship between Max and Liesel. They both know what it's like to wake up with nightmares and to feel abandoned because of things that happened in their past. They learn to trust each other by reading and writing their own stories and I think each of them felt protected by the other. As their friendship enfolds they share their words and stories with each other.
In the end Liesel learns that nothing and no one can take away her books and the power of words.
The Book Thief is one of those books that keeps you thinking about it days after you are done reading. I loved this book and would highly recommend it, especially if you are interested in the Holocaust or just looking for a good read.