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Book Review: The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Book Review: The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Sorry it’s been a while everyone! Been working on my own writing a lot the past month, and combining that with caring for a baby, I haven’t had much spare time. But I’m back for good now! Looking forward to sharing more bookish thoughts with y’all.

 

WITHOUT ANY FURTHER ADO, LET’S GET STARTED!

 

Our protagonist, Liesl Merminger, is sent to live with a middle-aged foster couple, as her mother can no longer afford to look after her during the harsh times of Nazi Germany. On the train to her new home in Himmel Street, her brother dies from illness, and Liesl steals a book from his graveside, the Gravedigger’s Handbook. Her new doting father teaches her to read, and Liesl proceeds to steal books to fuel her reading addiction. This book is about passion for literature, coming of age, and discovering the more important things in life during a period of widespread hatred.

I am still not over this book. If any book can be described as a rollercoaster, it’s this one. I went into this book with very high expectations, as I’d heard nothing but praise for it, and came away with little to no disappointment.

The setting was perfectly sculpted – either the author must have German origins, or did some fairly extensive research before the formation of the book. The small broken town of Mulching felt truly authentic, with its beautiful characters attempting to get on with their life during harsh winters and difficult monetary times. Each character reacted in the way you’d expect, as the Fuhrer further influenced the German population.

The plot was potentially the only downfall for me for this book. It was good, but it wasn’t GREAT. I feel like there was more that could have been done with the novel. The narrator of the book was ‘Death’, which personally I saw as a downfall, as everything was spoiled before it happened essentially. But somehow, it WORKED. I still found myself tearing at the pages, yearning for more. It was certainly a unique way to present a story, but it was slightly disappointing as the huge events within the book were essentially spoiled for you. I’m still very much in two minds as to whether I liked it or not.

The absolute best thing about this book was the prose. It was such a uniquely stunning book because of the writing. Words were used to their maximum capacity to invoke feeling, and it was just simply beautiful. The author truly had you in his grasp as you read it.

I’ve rated this book a 4.5/5 stars.

I can understand if this book isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of those books you ask yourself why you hadn’t picked it up earlier. This story is one that has the potential to break you, and I know that it will continue to stay with me for a long time.

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Top 5 Books of All Time

Top 5 Books of All Time

So I was thinking about writing something more serious and deeper in regards to reading/writing, then it occurred to me that you guys don’t know me all that well yet! And what better way is there to get to know someone than through their favourite books. Always tells you a lot about a person.

My top 5 books (will be sneaking some series into an entry here) I all love for different reasons. And there are a million other books I feel very attached to, but these are the ones I loved most for the content.

Without further ado… In no particular order.

#1 – The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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With a unique magic system involving metals, an orphaned girl and a band of thieves about to pull off a huge heist, I left this book feeling wholly impressed, and re-excited about the fantasy genre. It was slow, but it felt very fast, and there was never a dull moment. One of those books where you’d read 100 pages and felt like a ridiculous amount had happened, then looked at how much of the book was left and just thought ‘wow this is amazing I’m so excited that there’s still so much story to go!’ It was a very complete world, filled with the intrigue and excitement needed for a great story.

 

#2 – Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

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This one is probably obvious to many. I love these books as I feel I grew up the trio, and they completed my childhood. I was one of the crazy ones to dress up for premieres, hanging on for the next book. In every English essay I’ve ever written I’ve managed to squeeze in a Harry Potter quote or reference. These magical *wink wink* *I know, I’m hilarious* books make me feel complete, and I feel welcomed with open arms whenever I open their pages. I’ve laughed, cried, and learned with Harry, and these books will always be a large part of my life. As JKR famously said at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere,

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home

Never has a truer statement been made.

 

#3 – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This book was a recent read of mine, one of those where you can’t help but think, why the hell did I put if off for so long??

This book is on this list not because the story was an A+ for me (though don’t get me wrong, it was a very well thought out book and will give any reader many feels), but because it was so wonderfully written. Never have I read such beautiful and distinctive language in a singular book. It’s something that could have been very risky, being so different, in regards to language and how the story was set out, but it just plain worked. If anyone is looking for a new book, I highly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

 

#4 – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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This was a stunning book, based on a young boy who has a monster visit him every night. It’s on my list because it is powerful, very moving, and full of mystery. I thought that the protagonist’s age would put me off, but by the end of this rather short book, you feel like they aren’t just characters; you know all of them down to the core. They leap out of the page and grab you. It takes a very skilled writer to be able to do this. And the illustrations are extraordinary additions, which help make it all that more compelling. They reminded me slightly of the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick.

 

#5 – Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth

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Urgh. Still can’t get over how stunning these covers are. And these ones aren’t available anymore! :'(

These books are not well known, but I can’t recommend them highly enough as they began my true passion for fantasy books. They were the second adult fantasy series I read, and they’re just everything you want in the genre. Based on twin teenagers who have never met, one a witch and the other a fighter, they’re both for their own purposes striving to free their land’s leader from the trance he’s been placed in by his wife, and restore the legality of magic. Filled with dragons, strong heroines, magic, Princes, curses, enemies and no characters being black or white, you won’t be disappointed. Some people are thrown off by the language, some old Scottish Gaelic terms are used, such as ‘Righ’ instead of ‘King’, but you’ll slip into it easily if you give it a go. For me, it just gave the land of Eileanan further authenticity.

˜So I hope you guys have enjoyed getting to know a little more about me through these books! (I’m sure you can guess what my favourite genre is by now). I read a wide range of genres, it always depends on my mood as to which one I pick, but after thought these are the books which will always have a place in my heart and my mind.˜

If you have any questions feel free to ask, and let me know if these are some of your favourite books too!

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