So last night was ABC’s July meet-up where we discussed “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.
I’m sure most of you have heard about this book as it was plastered everywhere when it came out in 2005. The story is set in Nazi Germany, just before WW II and describes a young girl's life and relationship with her foster parents, friends, neighbors, and a Jewish man who ends up hiding in her home as the War begins.
The reason why I chose this book for ABC was simply because of the great reviews about it. Everyone I had asked about this novel told me it’s amazing and such an incredible book. Everywhere I read about it, only had positive things to say about the story line as well as the author’s writing style. That’s probably why it has won so many awards and was also listed on the New York Times Children's Bestseller List for over 100 weeks!
And yes, you have read it correct… CHILDREN’S BESTSELLER.
You see, this book was originally meant for children and teens which is very hard for me to understand because it is a very dark and tough book. It is about death (after all, DEATH is the narrator), it is about the holocaust and people dying, it is about suffering and starving… and after our meet-up last night, I also found out that I wasn’t the only one who had trouble understanding and following the book.
I must say that the very first paragraph and chapter of this book does grab your attention… It starts by saying: “HERE IS A SMALL FACT … YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”.
Not sure if that is the greatest way to start off a children’s book … but it grabbed my attention... For maybe 1 more page.
In any event, I happen to believe that in order to really understand this book and every single story that is described in it, you must read it at least twice! Only then will you really and truly understand it.
In my opinion there were A LOT of stories and chapters that could have been omitted. They were useless and a waste of time to me. I liked the idea of the story line and having death narrate it made it kind of interesting… but overall, I did not like the book. It was hard to follow, it was too drawn out, I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters, the writing confused me many times, and I can go on and on. And on top of that, I don’t think this should be a children’s book at all. There are many other better books for children that explain death and sorrow and how to deal with it.
What about you guys?
Has anyone read this book? Did you like it?
Please share your thoughts and comments… would love to hear them!
Aventura Book Worm