Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 
5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.35

Summary (Goodreads):

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.


I love how the cover is so simply yet so symbolic. It seems like Liesel had been dancing with Death all through her life, so this is very fitting.   


Wow. Just honestly wow. I will have to say more for this to be a valuable review, but wow. This book is absolutely stunning. Half of this review is going to be spoiler free, while the other half is going to be full of them because I have so much to say. When I was only a measley 70-100 pages in, people were already telling me that I am going to love this book, or that it is a brilliant book or that it is the best book they have read. Well, I did love this book and it was (as I said before) stunning and it is definietly up there with some of the best books I have read.

During those 70 pages I don’t really feel connected to the characters but fast forward 300 pages and I was ugly crying over a sentence.

Writing: I had to make this catergory just for the Book Thief because how it is beautifully written impacts how you read and feel the book so much. If you have saw the blurb for this book, you would know that it is narrated by Death. Death is a very straight talking, cynical and curious narrator I have to tell you. But he is brilliant at story telling. Even though when I started reading this book I thought the writing was absolutely weird, choppy at some points,  you DO get used to it and I found Death quite comforting in a twisted way. And obviously this is a very unique way to write a novel.

Plot: As I think I have said before, I don’t really read Historical Fiction books set in world war two just because I find them too depressing to read, but though the book had a blanket of depressive tones, the blanket never suffocating. Though some chapters were heavier than other, it was still light- if that makes sense. I loved following Liesel’s story because while she was still a child, she wasn’t blinding naive , she had an air of wit to her which helped me follow on a story of a girl much younger than me.

Themes: There is no hope in this book. And when there IS hope in this book, it disappears in an instant thanks to our very own narrator. I would say the over arching theme to this story is words and how powerful they are. Words, spoken, written or read it doesn’t matter, in this book literally determines if a character survives or not, or if they a have a good three months or a crap three months. By the last 150 pages of this book, I really started to understand that, maybe because Death kept on reminding me.


Liesel is a joy to read about. She is smart, passionate, rebellious and she loves books! Her character is really intriguing because she is only 10 when this novel starts and you read her growing up until she is a teen. Liesel becomes this confident, well put together girl and all you have to do is read some of the earlier chapters about her and then read the lasts chapters of the book to see that. Character development executed finely. She is funny as well! I found myself laughing at her lines of speech sometimes. I think the words, saumensch and saukerl will be permenanatly stuck in my vocab.

Max is a wonderfully deep character as well. I really liked how we are introduced to him as well, just a small, unassuming chapters in the book, and he blossoms into this beautiful character. His fighting spirit defines him a lot and it is because of that fighting spirit which makes his core strong even though he is crumbling on the outside. His generally, sweet and kind character really left me wanting to read more about how he copped during the later struggles he faced.

Hans must be one of the best father characters written. His character oozes warmth like hot chocolate. He is written so smoothly and real, he has flaws which pushed him into some deep trouble I’m telling you that, but he is just a man. I could almost here is accordian playing or smell the cigarette smoke when he was smoking. Hans is a character that every body should try to be like.

What I liked:





What I disliked:

-The epilogue could of been explained and described a bit better


What are you waiting for? You will love this book, I garantee (and hope!). Adults and children alike should experience the great writing of  Mark Zusak.

SPOILER ZONE- cross at your own risk!


What the hell? Everyone dying on Himmel Road except for Liesel! I was crying my eyes out. I am so not use to reading books where the happy ending really isn’t that happy at all.

Even before that. DEATH IS SUCH A SAUKERL! He was basically spolling the book which made me so apprehensious and always on edge. And Rudy…I was crying my eyes out every time Death was like ‘he will never get that kiss’ or ‘it’s a shame he only has three months’. ARE YOU KIDDING ME DEATH! Are you seriously telling me that Rudy is dying in three chapters! Not on. That’s when I started disliking death a little. Who am I kidding, a lot actually.

And please you guys need to tell me what you think of this ending. Even though this book was a definite 5 stars, the ending was slightly odd. I wish the epilogue was longer- I would love to know if Liesel became a writer, or if Max started fighting again.

I still can’t believe Rudy is dead and that her didn’t get his kiss…seriously bombs suck.

Okay I think I might cry again, so I am going to finish off this post.

I would love to hear you thoughts on this amazing book, so comment below.

I’ll write soon.