Book Review | The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Series: ---

Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction

Publication/Year: Knopf Books • 2007

Page Numbers: 560

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up and closed down."
My Rating★★★★★

Quote(s) I Like:
"Staring at the letters on the cover and touching the print inside, she had no idea what any of it was saying. The point is, it didn't really matter what the book was about. It was what it meant that was more important. The book's meaning: 1. The last time she saw her brother. 2. The last time she saw her mother." - Death

"...that one opportunity leads directly to another, just as risk leads to more risk, life to more life, and death to more death." - Death

"It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them." - Death in reference to Erik Vandenburg

My Thoughts:
OMG. Such a touching story. It was just as good as the movie was. I absolutely loved Liesel Meminger character as a whole from start to finish. She definitely ignited something bright in my heart. She was spunky, sassy and determined to educate herself. The fact that this story takes place during the time of Nazi Germany makes it even more touching.

I love her relationships with everyone in the story from Hans to Rosa to Rudy and Max and the other children on Himmel street. The ending was definitely a sad one with everyone dying, but I'm happy that Liesel was found by Isla and Max as well.


A story narrated from the perspective of death is definitely something I've never come across because death is always seen as evil or wrong in most books, but from reading this book death definitely was portrayed as a loving character that cared for each person. Truly powerful.

- Spoiler Alert -
First off I love how death introduced itself in the beginning and kept giving sneak peaks into what would happen in the story. Such a great, caring narrator with much insight that definitely makes you think as you read about each character.

Liesel Meminger is a very sweet girl that endured unfortunate situations. Living during the time of Nazi Germany, being abandoned by her mother, seeing her brother die before her eyes and getting adopted was definitely a bit sad. However, despite these situations she made sure to keep pushing for better. Yes, she did steal books, but with that she learned how to read and write with the help of her new Papa, Hans Hubermann. Liesel never gave up and for a 10 year old going through life as such, that speaks volumes.

The Hubermann's definitely were a joy to read about. Hans Hubermann is the epitome of a great dad. He was always comforting and there for Liesel from day one when she was adopted. He never let her down, made her comfortable or forced his hand. He made sure to guide her in a loving manner that she would grow to adore. Rosa Hubermann, on the other hand, is one of those mothers in which they love their children deeply, but they rarely say it or show it. It was pretty hard to like her because she was always serious and angry with the world. I wish she would have told Liesel at least once or twice that she loved her and had not been mean.

Rudy Steiner definitely gave me a few laughs here and there. I mean he lives in Nazi Germany and wanted to be known as Jesse Owens, the black Olympic winner. How bold can you be? He was a great friend to Liesel no matter what. I mean when her books were thrown/dropped into the freezing river he wasted no time rescuing them. He kept secrets with her and showed her around town. Even stood up for her. I thought it was super cute how he constantly tried to get a kiss from her. Definitely was too cute. 

Max Vandenburg...where do I begin. A Jew hiding from the Nazi's in the Hubermann's house. He was my third favorite character after Hans Hubermann. Max's back story and his father's, Erik, story also made me cry. His father saved Hans life back during WWI and Hans in return helped Max survive Nazi Germany. Max was a humble character. He knew what life was laid before him, but he never was pessimistic about it. He always tried to find a way to stay optimistic. Even though he was stuck living in a basement he made sure to get a daily weather report from Liesel. He wrote about his life, painted on the walls and even gave Liesel gifts. For a stranger he definitely seemed brotherly. His whole demeanor and being definitely was outstanding.

The ending broke my heart because everyone she knew and cared for died. It really was not comforting to read and visualize (after watching the movie) the scene after the bombing when she was saved. Thankfully, Isla found her, Max came back to her and she ended up living until the age of 90.

Overall Conclusion:
I'm lost for words as to how else to write my review...this book made me shade tears worse than the movie did. Definitely enjoyed this book to death. One of my all time favorite historical fiction novels now.

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