There are so many things I'd like to say about this book and in leading up to finishing it I've been trying to sort them out.
I'll state first off that this is easily one of the best books I've ever read (my shelf may not contain to many right now, but there's plenty I've left off it). This is a library copy that I just finished reading, however, this is the sort of book that I intend to buy a copy of AFTER I've already read it, because it belongs on a bookshelf. I'm quite confident it will be identified as a classic in years to come.
So enough prattling, whats this book about you say? Well it's about a little girl in 1938 who loves reading books. She steals a lot of them, hence the title, The Book Thief. Along the way she grows up, with her foster mother and father and her best friend Rudy.
The book pulls no punches, starting with the death of the protagonist, Liesel's, brother and the loss of her biological mother. Its a sad, tragic way to start a book and might put you off of it, however, it really showcases the emotional depth with which this book is so completely PACKED.
The end is on a different level altogether, however, so be forewarned.
Character and emotional development seen to be the specialty of this book. The entire cast is filled with colorful characters ranging from a mother with a big heart who constantly swears (in German, of course) at everyone, an accordion playing father with an equally big heart, a teenage track star who's obsessed with Jesse Owens, and a Jewish fist fighter. Oh and its narrated by Death itself (who is sympathetic to humanity, and actually seems like a nice guy, even though the book says he isn't)
To sum it up, I can say The Book Thief is about alot of things. Life, love, and happiness among them. But also death, sorrow and misery. Its about family, and a little bit about hope. Its about books and a love of reading them. Its about growing up 70 some odd years ago. But most of all its about a little girl who carries the flame against the darkness during a very dark time in a very bad place.
(PS If you like crying over your books this is the one for you)