May 6, 2014

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

"How does it feel, anyway?"

"How does what feel?"

"When you take one of those books?"

At that moment, she chose to keep still. If he wanted an answer, he'd have to come back, and he did. "Well?" he asked, but again, it was the boy who replied, before Liesel could even open her mouth. "It feels good, doesn't it? To steal something back"

Buy this book here: The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 550
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

It makes me nervous to post this review, because I don't think a lot of people are going to agree. But, I have to be true to my thoughts and feelings about a book. So if you think I'm totally crazy after reading this, I apologize and beg you to stick around for more reviews!!! 

So, here is the truth. I didn't love this book. Maybe I had too high of expectations going into it, maybe I was expecting something totally different, but I didn't really enjoy The Book Thief. I can hear you all gasping... but it's true. And hopefully after this review, you'll understand why.

First off, there are a few things about this novel that I absolutely loved! Lets start with those. The narrator in this book is awesome! I personally think it was a stroke of genius to have Death narrate the book. I really loved the remorse and distress that Death experienced at certain times in the books when he had to go collect souls. Zusak uses this to his advantage, to create a unique rhythm and flow to his book that I haven't seen anywhere else.

This leads into the next thing I really enjoyed about the book. Frequently throughout the book Death interjects with his own thoughts or ideas, aside from the typical storyline. These are usually just short (two or three lines) interruptions where Death gives background knowledge, comments on whats happening, or foreshadows something to come. There were a lot of complaints about this from some readers because it makes the reading more choppy. Personally, I really liked it.

The greatest downfall of this book is that nothing really ever happens. The storyline dragged on. I spent most of the book expecting something exciting to happen, to reach the climax of the story, but I never did. The book just finally ended. It was too slow for me, and because it was slow it took me awhile to read it. I just didn't have a lot of motivation to keep picking it up.

While I love historical fiction, The Book Thief just wasn't for me. I loved the stylistic aspects of the novel, but the storyline dragged. Because of this I could only give it two and a half arrows. Amazing originality in writing style, but poor execution of plot and story.

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