I just re-read The Book Thief for an upcoming book club, and I am sure I loved it even more the second time. The writing is complete genius...descriptive, delicious and never forced and the story of little Liesel keeps you engaged and rooting for her and the other underdogs that fill her life. While set during WWII, it offers a fresh perspective that still tugs at your heart, but somehow does not dwell on the sadness. I loved the themes of friendship, love, looking beneath the surface, perseverance, doing the right thing, and the the magic of reading and education.
If you read it, it is nice to know from the beginning that DEATH is the narrator. The first time I read it, it took a minute to piece that together. It is classified as young adult fiction and there is quite a bit of unnecessary language for that genre...especially if you know German, but for an adult read it was fine. It is also a long read and may take a little patience.
I highly recommend the book for men and women...it was even better the second time!
Goodreads.com summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time