The Book Thief - Review

DISCLAIMER: I do not enjoy things that make me cry. I avoid films if I know they'll make me cry, and I do the same with books. I cannot see what enjoyment can come from a book that encourages a feeling of sadness.

Remember at the beginning of the year I said I was going to read lots of books and become all cultures and shizz?

It hasn't exactly panned out. Being busy with absolutely everything has kind of slowed that down, but on Monday 9th, I carved out some time and was able to sit down and read for a bit.


I had no idea what to expect; I knew this book is set around WWII but that is pretty much it. However, within the first few pages you will grasp the idea.

I had to put the book down at around page 30. I wasn't emotionally prepared for this. It's not devastating; but, if you're not in a strong state of mind, I dare your heartstrings to not be pulled.

It's beautifully written. I can see how this book, as a relatively new publication, has been regarded and credited as one of the greats.

I gave myself a few minutes and continued, taking the book to my room. Something about it made me want to be alone; I'm not sure if it was because I knew J would tease me for being tearful, or because his guitar playing was ruining the mood of it.

I read up to around page 70, the tearful part was over (for now) and I have been introduced to a world of fantastical characters with strong and defining characters; all of which are going to have a major impact on our main characters story.

I've been a bit stop start - Being ill but having a million things to do does that do you. But I finished the book on Thursday and I didn't have a lot of choice in it. I went to bed with the last quarter to read... and I couldn't put it down.

As obvious as it may sound, the best part about this book is the way it's written. 

The Book Thief is written from the perspective of Death. This in itself opens up a world of opportunity in terms of narrative. He tells you what to expect before it happens, but that doesn't stop the sense of shock and sadness. It just means you have the additional anguish of waiting for things to happen.

I'm starting to realise how hard it is to write a completely unbiased review without offering spoilers.

I finished the last portion of The Book Thief late on a Thursday evening. I was tired which always adds to my sometimes sensitive mood but I need to carry on. I reached a point where I had 60 or so pages to read, and I considered saving it. But I'm glad I didn't. I don't think I'd have felt the full force of the story if I had.

I've spoken to a couple of people via twitter and they've all said the same thing;





They were not wrong. 

It's not hard to see why the story has been held in such high literary regard considering it has been released within the last 11 years. It's a stunning and heartbreaking read with plenty of food for thought.


Leigh Medway

Cat Lady, Cake enthusiast, dreamer, failing wanderluster and classic British moaner. TheGirlGang member!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this book and the film! They are both just beautiful. I recommend a thousand splendid suns, its such a string book but so beautiful at the same time xx

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