Stephanie's Reviews > The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-historical-fiction

This story broke my heart. It was both beautiful and devastating.

I loved that it was narrated by Death. The way he/she would describe the lives taken would kick you in the gut. Yes, death happens everyday, but this story is set during World War II. So some of the passages when Death collected the souls of people in the camps, or civilians during an air raid, or soldiers in battle, it makes a heart ache.

There were times when Death would tell a piece of a spoiler and I would shout, "WTF!" but it was no less shocking or emotional, even knowing it was coming at the end.

It did take a while in the Prologue to get into the style, because everything is described in such detail. Before you know it, you cannot put the book down.

This was another book swap with my sister. I gave her Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys to read. Similar time period and connected historical events.

I out started reading my sister's paperback copy, but was sick of carrying that on my commute, so I then downloaded it on my nook.

Now, I admit I need a happy, comical book to read. Reading these both so close together I am emotionally drained and cried out!

I love Hans and how brave he was to stand up in certain situations. I don't want to reveal spoilers, but it was a mix of "Yea, you show them!" and "Oh my God, he's going to get himself and his family sent to a camp for this action!"

There were also moments that made me laugh. Whether it was something Hans said, or something that Rudy did, there was some comic moments too.

I have seen some reviews where people complained it was too long of a book. I disagree. It was just the right amount of story and pacing to develop the characters and their relationships. Without that time to develop a connection, a reader will feel indifferent during the grieving, depressing, suspenseful and happy moments of these characters' lives. Also to paint the picture of what life was like during that time. (The hunger, the poverty, etc.) There is nothing I would edit out.

I think these two passages sum up the story well:

Page 389: ...I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and at their worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.

Page 436: I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality...
I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.

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Reading Progress

July 8, 2013 – Shelved
July 8, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
August 7, 2013 – Started Reading
August 7, 2013 –
page 30
August 25, 2013 –
page 125
September 21, 2013 – Finished Reading
August 5, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-historical-fiction

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