February 27, 2012

The Book Thief Steals Our Hearts

Several of us couldn’t find “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. We didn’t realize that it was categorized as young adult literature. One had to head towards the teen section at the library or bookstore to get a copy.  That’s what’s wonderful about book clubs. They expose you to books you don’t usually consider. The Book Thief was a pleasant surprise to most of us however some readers thought the blurbs on the back cover didn’t serve it well and it tainted their experience. Although the story is set in Germany during WWII, it’s not fair to compare it to The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank. If your expectations is a detailed historical account of the struggles faced by innocent German villagers during WWII you will be disappointed. The book is much broader in its themes of love, hate, conflict and death.

The writing style is unique throughout. It starts with the narrator’s voice. To explain further would ruin it for you so you'll just have to trust me. The layout of the words is peculiar and there are drawings throughout the text. The extensive use of imagery is breathtaking. I still look at the sky differently now. Many passages were so beautiful I had to take a break and reflect for a few minutes. The book club members doubted that a teenager would enjoy reading it because the pace is slow and the subject is quite depressing.  No shirtless vampires here.  Since the meeting however many moms have told me their kids loved it! For its unique style and great storytelling we gave it a 4 out 5.
Overall Rating (*****)

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