So, I must add my voice to the deafening praise surrounding The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Highlights iCheck out more reviews at Across the Litoverse
So, I must add my voice to the deafening praise surrounding The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Highlights include: the charming, self-aware narrator (who just happens to be Death); Zusak's insistence that the reader knows the fate of each character long before the ending of the novel; Hans Hubermann's quiet heroism and his dedication to his foster daughter; and the reclamation of books for new purposes (e.g. Max's use of Hitler's Mein Kampf to write his own memoirs).
Also, be prepared to cry for the last section of this book.
At twelve, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and was prepared to die. At fourFull review posted on Across the Litoverse
At twelve, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and was prepared to die. At fourteen, an aggressive, long-settled satellite colony of tumours was discovered in her lungs. As a last resort treatment, Hazel enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug called Phalanxifor—and now, she's living on borrowed time.
As the novel opens, sixteen-year-old Hazel's closest "friend" is An Imperial Affliction, a novel written by the reclusive author Peter Van Houten. She re-reads the novel because of Van Houten's complex portrayal of a young girl's struggle with cancer and his careful understanding of what it means to be dying and to not have died yet. Her parents decide to send Hazel to a church-based Cancer Kid Support Group in an effort to get their daughter engaged with the world again—and there, her life is re-written by a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters.
Brilliant book that did, in fact, make me feel all of the things. ALL of them. John Green offers a multi-facted view of Hazel and Augustus, and reminds readers that every one of us cannot be reduced to a single condition or social label or whatever the case may be. Green doesn't humanize a social or health issue here—instead, he shows us the complicated lives of three kids who learn to live despite their cancer. A subtle shift, no doubt, but a remarkable one to witness on paper.
As well, I love that John Green expects more of his readers than the standard YA author. While Green writes for teens, he never writes down to them. And, when it comes to the emotional spectrum and the honesty written into The Fault in Our Stars, Green proves his work needs to be read by teens and adults alike.
Ideal for: Nerdfighters (or Nerdfighters-in-training); Clever teens who need a lesson on real-life romance; Adult YA diehards who don't mind crying openly on the morning/evening commute; Readers looking to remember the transformative power of the written world; You, if you're reading this....more