The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Book Review

The Book Thief has been in my tbr list for so long. But somehow, I never got around to buying the book. Few months back when I did a book exchange with my friend, The Book Thief was among the books that I got. It’s already been more than 6 months and I still have 2 more books to read from that stack! I don’t know when she’s going to ask her books back! Anyway, I’m so happy that I got to read The Book Thief.

During Hitler’s rule over Germany, Liesel and her brother is taken by their mother to a foster family. But her brother dies on the way. During the burial, Liesel finds a book half hidden in the snow and she takes it even though she doesn’t know how to read. Her foster father teaches her to read and she grows up to love books and the words in them. When other children steal food, Liesel steals books. Her world is turned upside down, when Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement.

To be honest, I started reading the book with uncertainty. I had read mixed reviews about it and I was not sure whether I would like it. But a few pages in, I was hooked. The most unique part of the book is the narrator. I have seen first person and third person narrations. Here, Death is the narrator. The author has done a marvelous job writing the story from Death’s perspective. I expected to read about a grim and dark point of view from Death. But the book surprised me. Death is shown as gentle and someone who doesn’t enjoy taking the souls. Death sees the souls in colors which I think is beautiful!

Most of the coming age stories I’ve read tend to get boring at some point in the book. But here none of the scenes felt forced. I did not even realize Liesel had grown up to be a teenager by the end of the book. Book’s pacing was perfect and natural. The friendship between Liesel and Rudy is portrayed so beautifully. I loved Rudy’s character.

All the characters are memorable and has a place in my heart. Whether it’s Liesel’s gentle foster father or the cursing yet caring foster mother or the helpless Jew, Max or the mayor’s wife who ‘lets’ Liesel steal the books. They have all been written so perfectly that I miss reading about them.

Even though Death lets us know in advance who lives and who dies, I was still heartbroken by the deaths. The advance warning just made me love those characters even more. I was hoping against hope they would somehow live.

I wouldn’t want anything changed in the book. It’s perfect as it is.

My Rating: 5⭐.

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