Katherine reads: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


I can't tell you how much I've cried while reading this book.

I have seen so many people rave about this book on the internet, including some of my favourite vloggers (not naming anyone... Carrie Hope Fletcher and Dodie Clark) and I found the whole concept quite interesting, especially when DEATH is involved. Nice. Lovely.

The whole story is narrated by Death. Along the story of the book thief she tells her part of the tale and basically the whole concept of taking someone's soul and stuff and coming for them and I found that bit very imaginative, so one point for you, Zusak (just kidding).
The story is about a nine-year-old girl called Liesel Meminger and it's happening before and during and after World War II. Her mother and father have been deported to a camp (such as Auschwitz and her family isn't a Jewish one, but their views on politics got them into trouble) and she has got to go and live with a foster family in a town outside Munich in Germany. Her new foster family expected a girl and a boy to arrive, but unfortunately, Liesel's younger brother died on the train journey. They buried him in a graveyard in Munich and then headed off. But what Liesel's mother didn't know is that on the graveyard she saw a book lying on the ground and there, she "stole" it.
When she came to her foster family, she was greeted by her new mother and father called Rosa and Hans. At first she was terrified of them, but gradually she bonded with her new father over reading stolen books in their basement.
She goes to school, she hangs out with her friends, plays football and learns things about Hitler. She isn't impressed with him, but she doesn't say anything because her family might get in trouble after that so... ssh. Anyway, she steals books from the richer people in her town to which she delivers washed clothing that her mother did, especially from the Mayor and his wife.

She and her father have this special thing to read books in the basement of their house at night and she rather enjoys it. When they don't understand a word, they write it on the wall and find out what they mean. She loves it and it seems she'll get used to it soon enough, but one day, someone knocks on the door in the middle of the night.
It's a guy in his mid-twenties named Max. He's the son of a soldier that saved Hans' life during World War I. His father told him that if he ever needed to hide, he should seek his help. Do I even need to explain that he's a Jew?
He needs a place to hide and they hide him in their basement where Liesel and Hans used to read at night, but can't anymore. Instead she starts to read on her own and starts to take care of Max. They have this weird relationship that I can't quite explain, but it's just amazing. She reads to him and he writes short "books" for her, using the pages out of Hitler's book called Mein Kampf, which means 'my fight'.
One day when Max realises how much trouble and danger can he cause by living with the Hubermann family, so he decides to run away and go to his family in Stuttgart, but is caught by the Gestapo and sent to a camp like Liesel's parents.
Of course, she is heartbroken, because he was the closest thing she had to a very, very good friend or even best friend and she accepts the fact that she may never see him again.


But on one of those crazy big parades where they pushed the Jews through cities to be laughed at, she hopes to see him again and so, she and her friend Rudi Steiner hide in the bush and give the Jews that were walking past them bread and she hopes to see Max again, but she doesn't right until the end, where he appears one more time, telling her that he was hoping to see her again.
In the meantime, her father had to go to war once more, leaving her and her mother alone with nothing to do anymore and it was in that time that the attacks from the allies got more and more common. Fortunately, her father was dismissed from the army soon enough because he broke his leg and wasn't able to serve anymore.
As I said, the attacks got more and more regular and they had to hide in the bunkers quite a lot, but when there wasn't an attack, Liesel had this tradition to go out at night. What she didn't know is that on the same night that she decided to go out, the allies attacked without warning. Death took all of her family, her friends, neighbours, everyone, and she was out and she survived.
The only other person to survive the attack that lived in Himmel Street (where Liesel lived) was her good friends' father, Alex Steiner. He was a tailor and he was away in Austria, where he fixed the uniforms for the army-men. When he came back, he saw that his whole family died and Liesel's as well. He had no choice but to take her in and re-open his shop where he made clothes and Liesel helps him.
Credits to agressivebutterfly on Tumblr
The ending is kind of happy, because after the war, the Soviets and others freed all the camps and the Jews living in them and Max came back to Liesel. They were reunited and she was happy.

Holy fuck, did I cry while reading this book. Like, oh my god, can you not, please? I have no words for it apart from amazing, brilliant, genius, heart-breaking as fuck, perfect in every single way possible. The descriptions are amazing, the relationship between Liesel and Max (not in any way romantical, but just... friendship at its finest) was so relatable and down-to-earth and her relationship with her father, oh gosh. Everything was perfect.

What I liked about the writing was the fact that it wasn't told from Liesel's point of view or just some third person, but it was Death. He presented Death as a person with feelings and a person that just didn't have a pleasant job and I thought that was really clever and well thought of. Nobody thought that Death could have feelings and that's what makes the book and the story so unique. We've heard plenty of stories from World War II and I thought that everything that could be written about it was already done, but this one is the biggest surprise of them all. Just a girl stealing books. Absolutely brilliant.

The other thing that struck me the most is that Markus Zusak, the writer, is so goddamn young! Sorry, but what?! It was so well-written and described as if he's been to that time and lived his life back then (maybe he has a time-machine, the fuck do I know?) and he hasn't even lived that long! Who the hell described everything to you so amazingly, man? I thought you were at least 80 years old. AT LEAST.

And the other thing is that I cried like a baby. Just... I probably used about three packets of tissues on the last chapters of the book because it's just so good. It's been translated into many languages or if you don't have it in your language, you can always pick it up in English and it'll probably be even better.

You probably might have seen that it was also placed on number 5 of my Top 10: Books post, and right now I wish I'd rank it higher because I read it again and it's just so good! I just can't tell you how good it is until you read it and then you'll see what I'm talking about.

Oh yeah, and all the lovely pictures on this blog post? Yeah, they're from the film that is coming out in November this year. I am going to cry like a baby, I mustn't see it in a cinema otherwise everyone will think I'm weird as fuck. Anyway, I found them on the official Tumblr site of the movie (except for the one with the credits in the caption).

Anyway, I wrote a book review... that was new to me. I hope you liked it and if you did, I'll make sure I'll post some more in the future. I've got a review of The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling saved as a draft, so if you're interested to hear what I have to say about that one, then tell me in the comments if you want to see it posted.

I shall see you soon,
xxx Katherine


4 comments:

  1. I loved it! You should so do more of these! Just one little thing - can you put SPOILER ALERT somewhere in the text next time; possibly before you start reviewing the story? Thanks. ;)

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    1. Of course Sara... I'll put it in the tittle and it'll say MAJOR SPOILERS DOWN BELOW OH MY FUCKING GOD DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK lol xD

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  2. That would be lovely! I am so happy you always make everything better for me and you fulfill all my wishes! What a great serva- eh, friend you are! Just amazing and thank you so so so much! Now, if you don't mind, I also have a few orders ab- I mean SUGGESTIONS, suggestions about... ;)

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    1. Hahahahaha, yes, your majesty xD Sem poskušala zrihtat pa ne morm neki ful spremenit, kr bi mela eno sliko s kakimi zvezdami because of my URL ampak majo use nek bel del ko pač pride umes (blame the universe not me!),ampak bom še poskušala....

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