I have to resist the urge to just say “OMFG go read this book!!!!” ten times. This book was so good it reduces me to adolescent squeals of excitement when I usually talk about it. Seriously, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is in my top two favorite books of all time and OMFG go read this book!
You want more than that? If you insist.
The Book Thief is yet another book in the YA genre but this one is different. Zusak takes the concept of YA and turns it upside down. The story is narrated by Death as he follows the life of a young girl in World War II Germany. Zusak’s choice to have Death narrate means this is anything but a kids book. Zusak gives Death a timeless quality which contrasts nicely with the youthful innocence of Liesel Meminger. As much as Death can possibly love, we somehow believe that it may very well love Liesal, and through Death’s eyes, we grow to love Liesel as well.
One thing must be noted in this review. The Book Thief is pure raw brilliance. Death doesn’t narrate in smooth transition but rather in unique, powerful connections reminiscent of an eloquent slam poet. In that sense, I can see how the beginning of the book can be difficult nestle into at first. It took me a few tries to get through the prologue myself. By the time I navigated the style in the prologue, I found the rest of the story to flow quite naturally. Basically it took some getting used to, but once you do, Zusak’s style becomes addictive.
There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who makes it though the first chapter will be aching to finish this book. They won’t be disappointed. Zusak and Death do not try and give us ridiculous plot twists or cryptic foreshadowing. Rather Death tell us straight up what will happen in the end, what always happens in the end. No matter how much warning we have, we are still never fully prepared. Zusak’s writing, Death’s narration, is that damn good.
Oh yeah, the story and characters rock too. Just absolute, utter, complete awesomeness. I cried just from the simple fact that the story was over. I didn’t want it to be over. Yeah. That. Good.
So…OMFG go read this book!