A Review of “The Book Thief”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you!  I’m back today with another book review. 🙂 I told you that I plan to read more this year! The book I just finished was “The Book Thief.”

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

My Review:

I must say that at first the author’s writing style was hard to get used to, but then the story sucked me in. I loved Liesel’s (the main character and the book thief) strength.  This was truly a heartbreaking story. It amazes me what people endured during World War II.

This story illustrates how tragic the war was not only for the Jewish community, but for the German people as well. Many Germans didn’t agree with Hitler’s philosophies, but were powerless to do anything about it.

The power of the human spirit overshadows the tragedy of this war and it’s the only thing that does. Many Germans secretly disobeyed Hitler’s rules at great peril. I fell in love with Hans Hubermann the accordion player and his kind, generous spirit. He was a strong, quiet man who hid a Jew in his basement for a good portion of the war. I also loved Rosa who’s rough exterior hid a huge heart.

This is a tragic story of loss. Liesel lost many people she loved throughout the book. This is the emotional part of the story. I really felt the depth of her despair and I felt the losses right along with her. There were moments of joy throughout the story, but they were fleeting. It’s hard to experience joy when you’re living in constant fear. I could feel the Hubermann’s fear all throughout the book.

The end of the story was an example of the endurance of the human spirit. Liesel must continue to live after everyone she loves dies. After all that she has suffered, she does just that and she’s reunited with her friend Max. It’s a bittersweet moment for them both.

“The Book Thief” is not an uplifting story, but a dramatic account of what World War II was like for the Germans as well as the Jews. I feel it’s an accurate depiction of what Hitler did to everyone and it’s an example of what can happen when a mentally ill person gains power.

I highly recommend this book. It’s not uplifting, but what it does do is put things in perspective for you. It makes you realize that whatever your troubles are they’re nothing like what the Germans and Jews suffered during World War II.

Thanks for reading my post today. Please share your thoughts! I’d love to read what you thought of this book or if you have a book recommendation for me.

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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9 Responses to A Review of “The Book Thief”

  1. RachelB. says:

    So do you think the author is making a moral equivalence between what the Jews suffered and what the Germans suffered?

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Good question Rachel! I would say no. I think what he’s illustrating is that the German people suffered as well. In earlier stories about World War II I always came away from the story with the feeling that the Germans agreed with Hitler and his philosophies. In reality I don’t think that’s the case. I think there were many Germans who sympathized with the Jewish people, but had no power to do anything about it. Hitler was too strong. There were even some Germans in the Nazi party who tried to assassinate Hitler. There was a movie about it called “Valkryie” starring Tom Cruise. These stories are just coming to light and I think it’s good to see that not all the Germans agreed with Hitler.

  2. sharonledwith says:

    Great review, Lisa! This is on my TBR list! Oddly enough, my next time travel book takes place during World War Two, and all the research I’ve done doesn’t even skim the surface of what these people (the Jews and Germans) went through. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      I’m interested in World War II as well. I’m amazed at the power Hitler had over everyone during this time period. Let me know when your next book comes out. I want to read it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Sharon! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Office Bullies | lisaorchard

  4. Julie says:

    I’ve literally just started reading this yesterday morning, I’m only on page 50 something but am already sucked in. I complained to my hubbie that the trouble with starting a good book is that you realise pretty quickly that you are going to forget all forms of non essential work until it’s finished. I’m loving the vivid descriptions, the shop keepers “refrigerated voice” for example, I’ve not read anything by Zusak before but I already love his style.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Julie, this is the first book I’ve read by Zusak as well and you’re right, it does suck you in. I’d love to read your thoughts when you’re finished. It was a very emotional story for me. 🙂

  5. Yolanda says:

    HI Lisa, Stopping over from SITS. When I was younger I loved to read. I spent my entire summers in the library. Now that both my sons are grown I want to get back into reading and thanks to your review I will start with this book.

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