Great Summer Reads: The Book Thief

I read this book almost 18 months ago, and though I read it in the winter, it struck me then as a great summer read.

My first reaction to it was something to the effect of: What a read! I LOVED IT!

This book was wonderful, though in a “tough topics all around” sort of way. It’s set in Nazi Germany and has the most unexpected point-of-view: Death. Yes, the narrator is Death himself. But that makes it all the more interesting.

It’s billed as YA, and I wouldn’t mind sharing it with the YA readers in my life. There’s humor in it that still makes me chuckle.

One of the ways Zusak uses Death’s perspective is in making the normal people in Nazi Germany real. We get a glimpse at how harrowing that time was for the ordinary folks and maybe we get a history lesson with a different set of pains and aches. It gave me an appreciation for just how terrible that time really was, and not just for the Jews (though certainly for the Jews!).

The main character is quite a gem, too, and her love of books and reading is something I relate with all too well. The ending is unexpected and quite smile-worthy.

It’s well-written in so many ways, and it’s quirky and fun to read, too. I found myself struck with the point-of-view within the novel and how the author used that to poignant without being sappy, observant without being judgmental, and entertaining without being dumb. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.

I haven’t decided if I want to see the movie or not…sometimes when I love a book I’ve learned to not see the movie. Then again…

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