The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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.(Goodreads Summary)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
If even death’s heart could bleed for the characters of this book, then what chance did my heart have? None. Zip. Nada. Zippo. It was so easy to fall in love, to laugh, to cry, and to cheer for the handful of tough but loving characters that made half of The Book Thief’s größe.
The other half? Well, that was occupied by Death. And I don’t think I’ve ever been told a story by a more poetic and ironic narrator than Death.
It kills me sometimes, how people die.
Well done, Markus Zusak for making Death a narrator for a book about life, which is what, I believe, this book truly is about: humans and how we live.Read More »
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There are no dialogues in this book.
Scratch that. There are no quotation marks in this book. Just lines. Italicized. Succinct. Also, there aren’t unnecessary back stories for unimportant characters or tedious facts that don’t add anything to the story – things that usually make thrillers boring for me.
The first chapter surprised me. The writing style wasn’t as I expected it to be. I was almost convinced I was reading a dystopian young adult. Tom Rob Smith’s writing style made it easy for me to picture a totalitarian Russian state under Stalin despite my lack of knowledge of Russian history. I got drawn into this society, its impossible restrictions and unbelievable rules, that the murders took a backseat.
There are some downfalls like the lack of dialogue, which made it hard for me to empathize with the characters, but the story was more than enough to draw me in and turn this into one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read.
The other members of my book club concur.
P.S. They made a movie of this book! I can’t wait to see it!
View my Other Reviews.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lazy days on the branches of a pomegranate tree, Westerns on movie nights, and warm blankets on Winter days – the first few chapters were peaceful and slow but had many signs of the chaos that was to come.
It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even in a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.
Even before that single day or the Soviet War in Afghanistan, I already knew what the story was for me. Although Khaled Hosseini described The Kite Runner as a ‘father-son’ book, I would have to disagree. It isn’t just about guilt and redemption either.Read More »