Book review: The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak)

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Page count: 560 pages (paperback)
Rating: 4/5 stars

Trigger warnings for the book: anything you can associate with WWII. If you don`t want discussions of death, war, mistreatments of Jewish people, etc, then maybe don`t pick up this book as that`s what it`s about.

Spoiler warnings for this review: spoiler-free to the best of my abilities, unlike SOME Deaths. The book spoilers itself regularly. Is that a spoiler in itself? I don`t know.

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So, guess who`s behind on writing her book reviews? That`s right. Me. In fact, since the last one I`ve read 2 more books, although I am currently in a bit of a slump and can`t decide which one to pick up next.

But for now, let`s focus on one of the books I did read completely: The Book Thief. I`m sure most of you have heard of it by now (if not read it), considering it`s been turned into a movie and was a massive worldwide bestseller and all that. I`m a bit late at hopping on the bandwagon, I know.  Either way, I`m glad I did pick this one up! 4/5 stars is not too shabby, after all.

I have to say though, the beginning of the book was a bit of a struggle. I found it to be kind of messy and confusing and much more experimental than I anticipated, but luckily it improved quickly. The story took off properly and it turned into a much more coherent and interesting book. It was still experimental, and I`m not sure I liked it because the tiny little bits of information and interludes kept throwing me off of the story, but it did mostly work out eventually.

This was an interesting perspective of the war, from the point of view of a young girl growing up. Yes, I know technically the POV is Death itself, but after the first two or so chapters you can kind of ignore that anyway and it`s definitely about Liesel and it`s her story.

Now I know that the WWII genre is a massive one, trust me. I know. I live very close to Germany, I trip over books and information about WWII on a daily basis. They don`t usually interest me all that much, in all honesty. There is absolutely an overdose of WWII information around where I live and, despite remembering not much of it and despite 100% recognising the importance, it can get very tiring and repetitive.

Now I don`t know if it was that, or if the book just didn`t click properly with me, but I never felt a real connection to the book. It felt like I was watching everything from a distance, I was just kind of there to see it all. Maybe it was supposed to be like that, since in a way you`re watching from a distance together with Death. But the book, despite all it`s terrible happenings and soul-crushing storyline, just never really got to me. It didn`t leave a particularly big impression.

Maybe it also didn`t help that I read the last 80 or so pages in a train filled with noisy, annoying drunk people. That definitely ruined the ending for me. It`s hard to focus on dramatic things when people are shouting at YouTube videos just two chairs away.

I do know that this book isn`t too fast-paced but not a slow read either, it just has a nice, steady pace going. It`s surprisingly easy to read:  I expected to struggle more, but instead I managed to easily read 50 pages or more each day, which – for me – is quite an achievement nowadays.

All in all, a 4/5 star rating, because I did enjoy it. I can see it`s a good book. I just wasn`t impressed, per se.  Maybe it just wasn`t for me. If you have read it, let me know what you thought down in the comments!

Next book review: Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh. Yep, moving into February haul territory despite not having mentioned anything about a February haul yet. Spoiler: I bought several books and spent too much money on books.

Currently reading: undecided, and alternating between 3 different books. Will keep you updated.

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7 Responses to Book review: The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak)

  1. creative pixie says:

    I enjoyed the book and even cried at the end, shame reading the final pages was ruined for you.

  2. One of my favourite books. 🙂

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