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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

So, I am FINALLY going to be watching The Book Thief with my mom tonight! SO EXCITED! 

I have been wanting to watch it since it came out six months ago. Yeah, I know I'm late but just cut me some slack alright? Alright ;)

Anyways, before I watch the movie and write a post about it, I will familiarize you with the book version. Here is a review of...

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

The Book Thief

Written in the point of view of Death, the story follows 10 year old Leisel Meminger through her life living in Nazi Germany. Leisel must learn to live with new parents she doesn't yet trust, while learning to fit in, and keep the secret of the Jew hidden in her basement. Death's recount of Leisel's life full of bright characters, books, and words, will leave you filled to the brim with emotions. 

This is one of those books that is extremely hard to describe plot wise. You first meet Leisel as her mother is giving her up to basically be in foster care. After that, Death takes an interest in Leisel's story and follows her for several years through the war. It may sound weird, but it is actually brilliant. Zusak made the best choice possible in the narrator, having Death be this omnipresent figure so the reader knows what is happening with Leisel and then what is also happening with the rest of the world in order to give the story some perspective. Now some might be worried that Death being the narrator may be morbid, but Zusak writes Death to be tired of his job. I thought some of the ways he portrayed Death, and hoe Death handled certain kinds of people when they passes, was beautiful. For example, when Death moved a child he would be more gentle than when he moved a soldier. 

As a character, Leisel is perfect. She is strong, daring, and so incredibly sweet. She just has this aura about her that make both characters and readers fall in love with her. With her troubling past and the way she is able to attach so quickly to her Papa, Rudy, and Max, it becomes a beautiful thing to read. Leisel and Max (the Jew they are hiding in their basement) have a special relationship. Through words, Max is able to inspire Leisel and help her become the person she is meant to be. So of course, Max becomes one of the most important people in her life. Though their relationship could be mistaken for a romantic one to many people, it is definitely not. I feel as though Max is kind of an older brother to Leisel. He often teases he about her feelings for Rudy. Now isn't that something an older brother would do? 

The one character that I absolutely love is Rudy. Rudy is Leisel's best friend, even though he wants to be more from the moment he met her. I think their relationship is absolute perfection. They really are best friends, and though Rudy constantly asks for Leisel to kiss him, she never obliges (even though she probably ought to). I really hope the movie gets this relationship right. It's one of my favorites in the book world. 

If you have head anything about this novel you may have heard about the ending. Even though Death spoils the ending himself about 1/3 of the way through, that did not stop me from bawling like a baby the entire time it was happening. It was way too emotional for my own good. I just kept sobbing "Why Markus Zusak, why?!" The ending is definitely worth the time it takes to read the whole novel. Since it is 552 pages long it does take a good chunk of time but it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. 

Now time for me to go watch the movie and pray that I don't start sobbing.

Just kidding, its gonna happen. 

-Shawnee Smith

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