So, as promised, here is my review of The Book Thief.
Liesel Meminger lives in Nazi Germany. As Hitler and his party rise to power, Liesel is sent to the foster home of Rosa and Hans Hubermann. On the way her younger brother dies and Liesel steals her first book at his funeral. Her foster father teaches her to read. Liesel's obsession with books continues and she is soon stealing them more often.
Living in Germany at this time is perilous, so when Liesel's family hides a Jew they have to be even more cautious. Words are more important than ever.
This was one of the best books I have read in a while! Even as the book compelled me to continue reading, I had to stop and let everything sink in. Zusak is able to make each sentence full of meaning and emotion. I rarely cry while reading books, honestly, but I'll admit that The Book Thief did me in. I wasn't wailing like a baby or anything, but I could still feel the lump forming in the back of my throat and tears welling in my eyes.
When I wasn't reading, I kept thinking about how I would describe the style Zusak used in this book. It's actually harder than you might think to explain. The words had a good flow to them but simultaneously seemed to stutter. It served his purpose though. The narrator, as you will see (I'm not spoiling this one, I promise), speaks to you, the reader. He/she tells you Liesel's story and the story of Himmel Street as a whole. The way the narrator explains the end before going back and explaining how it came about is intriguing.
You have to love Liesel in this book. She has such a strong, warm heart. She is also quite wise for someone so young. More than that, though, she shares my love of reading. She explains how it comforts you and how sometimes the book you are reading reveals things about your own life at that time.
Words mean so much in this book. The words convince people, sway them, to do things that they might not have otherwise. They are what holds everything together.
You can find The Book Thief at Amazon and Books a Million.