Author: Markus Zusack
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Published: September 18, 2007 (Paperback)
Retail Price: $12.99
Rating: 4.5 stars
“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.” – Goodreads
“Not leaving: an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children” (37).
I loved everything about this book to be honest. The only reason it has anything less than a 5 star rating is because I took me nearly two months to read it. Other than that I had so much love for every element of this book that I was shocked and hurt when I came to the end. I wanted it to keep going, I was confused as to why it ended.
I loved nearly every character given to us. The POV is really amazing in getting deep into every character’s lives and personality. Each character has a story that is told to us and we get connected to every next door neighbor and I’m in love with that aspect. My favorite character was definitely Max Vandenburg. So pure and amazing and a beautiful character with so much meaning and fight in him. SPOILER: I am so happy that Zusak didn’t kill him off, he really didn’t deserve it. SPOILER END.
The plot was way different than I thought it was going to be but I absolutely enjoyed this. The simple story line of a young girl’s life in Germany was perfectly fine by me. I so enjoyed learning about Lisel’s life and learning about things as she learned too especially from an outsider’s perspective.
The conflict in this story was necessary and not over exaggerated. I really feel like for the time period we were in, the conflict definitely seemed in place, even if I don’t know a whole lot about the time stretch.
The writing style was so amazing. The character development was such a joy to experience, especially in our main character and her best friend, Rudy, who I love oh so much. I was highly satisfied with the ending of this novel. But to be honest I’m gonna stop there so I don’t go gushing and ranting about what mad me sad and what made me happy. And the most important part, there were no cliches or overused tropes, this story was absolutely original and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
“Every minute, every hour, there was worry, or… paranoia… They envision a prolific assortment of caughtoutedness” (29).
“[Rudy’s] the boy who refuses to fear the opposite sex…” (49).
“Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving” (134).
“‘Good night, book thief'” (292).
“Stealing it, in a sick king of case, was like earning it” (358).
“She woke up tasting the accordion in her ears” (358).
“Zufriedenheit – happiness” (358).
“Verzeihung – forgiveness” (368).
“Gelegenheit – opportunity” (386).
“Schweign – silence” (398).
“Elend – misery” (391).
“Nachtravern – regret” (401).
“How things had changed, from fruit stealer to bread giver” (440).
“She enjoyed the fact that the roomful of books belonged to the woman” (461).