I know the movie just came out, but now I’m ready to see it, because I just finished reading this one-of-a-kind showstopper of a novel, called The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
So, the story is based in World War II, but the perspective of this dark time in history is different from anything you’ve ever experienced it through. It follows the life of a young German girl who steals books. It is 1939, Molching, Nazi Germany, and Liesel Meminger’s story doesn’t start out so brightly. It involves the death of a brother, the loss of a mother, and the absence of a father. But then she enters the lives of Hans and Rosa Hubermann, or rather, they enter hers, and her life changes. With a growing obsession of reading, Liesel takes to stealing her most favorite prized possession, books, from the unlikeliest of places; the snow in a graveyard, a book-burning fire, the mayor’s house. Her childhood adventures unfold by the side of her best friend Rudy Steiner, but so do the realities and nightmares of a brutal war, literally coming to her doorstep as the Jew Max Vandenburg, or her foster father’s enlistment, or the Ally bombs.
When a book makes my mouth drop open by the third page, I know it’s a clear sign that I hold a masterpiece. Zusak’s writing is so new, so compelling; I am gripped by his craftsmanship of words. The dark yet mesmerizing way that the story is narrated by Death as a character transforms it from the simple telling of a tale to the living of a life. A little girl’s hard life, to be exact.
In the end, I was left with my emotions exhausted and my heart in pieces, and that is the best sign in the world. When a book, or really, any form of storytelling, leaves you like that, it’s definitely succeeded in its purpose. The Book Thief is a read for many ages, many kinds of people, many different souls. Honestly, if you’re human, you will enjoy this.