The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Publication date: January 30th 2014
Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers
Number of pages: 584
Source: From the publisher in exchange for review via Netgalley. This is my honest review.
Date finished reading: 12th December 2013
HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It’s a small story, about:
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.
Let me tell you, this book is different, so very, very different. I’d heard amazing things about The Book Thief but none of those things could quite have prepared me for what was to come.
What I liked:
– The characters. Oh my goodness. The characters. Only so often does one such as myself get that attatched to the characters. They were so realistic and I feel as though I know them in real life.
– Unique ideas: There were some really cool ideas in there. An illiterate girl who steals books is one thing, but I never considered it would be in a book like this one.
– Different sort of narration: I bet you guys have never had a narrator like this one before. The writing style was good as well, a lot of books told in third person (or mostly in third person, like this one, if you know what I mean), that I’ve read can lack emotion but Markus Zusak never really seemed to have this problem.
Not so keen on:
– I had a bit of trouble getting into it. I thought the first fifty pages or so were a little boring.
– I found it to be a little predictable. Well it was and it wasn’t.
I would recommend this book to almost everyone, I even know people who read this at a young age. However, beware, this is not a light-hearted book. It reminds me a lot of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, so if you enjoyed that, be sure to check this one out.
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Goodreads author bio:
Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.
His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (also known as Getting the Girl ), released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honours in his native Australia, and the USA.
The Messenger (or I am the Messenger ), published in 2002, won the 2003 Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize), as well as receiving a Printz Honour in America. It also won numerous national readers choice awards across Europe, including the highly regarded Deutscher Jugendliteratur prize in Germany.
It is The Book Thief , however, that has established Markus Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia. To date, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia. It has also been in the top five bestsellers in the UK and several other territories. It has amassed many and varied awards, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. It was the only book to feature on both the USA and UK World Book Night Lists in 2012, and has now been adapted into a major motion picture.
The Book Thief (the film adaptation) is directed by Emmy Award-winning Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and was shot in Berlin by Twentieth Century Fox. The cast is headlined by Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, The King’s Speech) and Academy Award nominee Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Anna Karenina). It also includes exciting new talents Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, and Sophie Nelisse (Monsieur Lazhar), with Nelisse cast as The Book Thief , Liesel Meminger.
The Guardian calls The Book Thief “a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told.” The New York Times: “Brilliant and hugely ambitious…the kind of book that can be life-changing.” The Age: “an original, moving, beautifully written book.”
Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.
Crash by Lisa McMann
Publication date: January 8th 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Number of pages: 233
Series: Visions (1#)
Date finished reading: December 7th 2013
If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of three books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.
Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.
What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.
The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.
In this riveting start to a gripping trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.
Ladies and gentlemen…may I announce that Crash by Lisa McMann is the perfect book for curing the dreaded reading slump. I think somehow my subconscious knew that it would be THAT book and I had been looking forward to it for ages.
I finished a book last night and thought that maybe I should begin Crash (I needed to catch up on my reading) and so I did. In the little time I read before bed I read half of it and then this morning I read the other half! It was such a fast read and yet the story remained fantastic. You know sometimes when books are really short and you can’t get into the story? This was not one of those times.
The writing style was really modern and that definitely made me feel like the main character Jules was more relatable. But really, Jules was just a pretty great protagonist anyway. As a reader I felt her struggle with the knowledge she gains from her visions and the decision of whether or not to tell Sawyer what she saw. And there’s the ongoing feud between their families to make matters worse.
I also have to compliment the fluidity of the story. The writing was smooth which helped to make it engrossing. It was very easy reading. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel!
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Goodreads author bio:
Lisa McMann lives and writes in the Phoenix area. Her books include the NYT bestselling paranormal WAKE trilogy, CRYER’S CROSS, DEAD TO YOU, and the dystopian fantasy series beginning with THE UNWANTEDS. (Book 2, Unwanteds: ISLAND OF SILENCE, comes out Sept 4, 2012).