The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

No. of pages: 554
Rating: 10/10

Synopsis: Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster family on Himmel Street during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her Communist parents have been transported to a concentration camp, and during the funeral for her brother, she manages to steal a macabre book: it is, in fact, a gravediggers’ instruction manual. This is the first of many books which will pass through her hands as the carnage of the Second World War begins to hungrily claim lives. Both Liesel and her fellow inhabitants of Himmel Street will find themselves changed by both words on the printed page and the horrendous events happening around them.

Review: I've had this book lying around for about 6 months, I'd see it on my shelf and pass over it for something else to read. What a huge mistake that was. This is one of the best books I've ever read, and there wasn't a main character within its pages that I didn't come to love in some way or another. Even though this is a fictional story, you really get a feel for what it would have been like to live during the war, and the kind of fear everybody felt. The style of writing was brilliant, so easy to read, and I loved the little comments made by death throughout. But I do feel like this book sucked me in, surrounded me with wonderful characters, and then spat me out on my ass near the end, I'd describe it like somebody giving you a lovely hug, then abruptly slapping you on the face.

Highlight to read spoilers: You find out about half way through the book that Rudy is going to die, and although I was very sad about that, I kind of just moved on and hoped too many others wouldn't when the bombs inevitably hit, but with horror I read as everyone but Liesel died, and that was devestating. The saddest part for me was when Liesel was looking at the bodies of her loved ones. As she kissed Rudy and admitted that she loved him, it was painful to read. But I also feel that the sadness and shock from everyone dying also helps you appreciate the fact that Liesel lived, and not only did she live, but she lived a happy life, and it was many years before Death collected her. The fact it ended with him giving her book back, well that was just brilliant.
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