Book Review : The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A mini fun fact. I have been in a book slump when I remember I had The Book Thief in my shelf. You know the feeling how the book we want to read the most being end up in TBR pile the longest right? Yep. In this case, it was me and this book.

So I thought, “Why not? What the worst could happen anyway? Besides, I’m in a book slump. The worst scenario for readers. This book can’t hurt me nonetheless.” 

Oh Boy.

Here comes the freaking roller coaster emotions ride. 


Genre : Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Page : 552 pages
Published : 1st September 2005


It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.


“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

I don’t even know where to start to not ruin this masterpiece. I’m honestly terrified to write this review ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ 


The Book Thief  — The story of Liesel, how she learns to love and despise at the same time in her small town of Molching, under Nazi Germany reign.


At the beginning, I am anticipated to read The Book Thief. However, I do not have high hopes for the book. I just thought “Well, let’s see how great this book is.” Not knowing it will be one of my most unforgettable reads ever.

I smile and my heart soars when I began reading this book. The opening is so fantastically unique and I just knew right then and there, this book will bring me out of my reading slump misery.

I fit this book into my working schedule. I read in my break time and I even read on my ride home (which I mind you, rarely happen) Unless the book is so good, because I never really mixed up my private life with the me who loves to read  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯ *Cheers to introvert life*

Let me tell you why you should really get on reading this book.


Why The Book Thief?

1. Unique narrative

Not intense. But achingly unique. I wonder how the dreadful narratives could be written in such a unique way, with a unique character to narrates the story. (Well, not Liesel if that’s what you’re wondering.) You gotta read to find this out. I bet you’re going to love it!

2. Lovely characters

There are many characters that I ended up loving. But here are some that truly warmth my heart just by thinking about them:

This Unique Character who narrates the story -> It’s quite shocking I ended up loving this “morally grey” character. But I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do too!

Liesel -> What a brave and lovely adventurous little girl!

Rudy -> This compassionate boy right here, deserves the world for many reasons.

Hans Hubermann -> Unsurprisingly wise and thoughtful. A character that we could all look up to!

Rosa Hubermann -> A foul-mouthed middle aged woman. Even I’m surprised she made it into the list.

Max Vandenburg -> Jewish man who introduced Liesel’s to a whole complex world. 

PS. All the characters above? and the Himmel Street where they all lived in? Impossible NOT to love.

3. Children literature for adults

At one glance, I love how this book give the impression of how dark this book is. The cover and blurb says it all, how it implies Nazi Germany. (and we all know how we feel about Nazi Germany) But despite this heavy topic, I feel like reading children literature instead, due to the characters and the ambience. This book is serious yet carefree all the same.

I read a heavy topic book without ever feeling like I’m reading one. Moreover, I feel like reading classics, where I enjoy the flow of the stories that flow like a river, where I look up, admire and love the characters for their kindness, bravery, wisdom and critical thinking.


Wonderful Story

I created this section on purpose so I could rant all I want about the story. Of course, without spoiling any of its contents. Meaning, spoiler-free as always ( ^◡^)っ ♡

“The Book Thief” is a story of Humanity.

Reading this book kept me thinking how short-lived we all are and how close we all are with Death. Not to mention, if human take things into matters by themselves. Such as, declaring “war” to one another. Ash grey sky, disturbing dust, panic, chaos, never-ending cries and hasten death. 

Aside from Liesel, this book took spotlight on Himmel Street- a deteriorating residence in Molching, Germany. How the poverty-stricken inhabitant lived on under the reign of Nazi and how it impact them.

“Heart-breaking, Hopeful, Touching and Full of Love”

Reading this book simply feels like reading about life. I love how this is a story of poverty-stricken German town, to read their variety reactions and opinions about the strict systems and how the system weight on them sometimes.

“Beautifully crafted and written”

One of my many favourites of this book, is this book rarely implies hints as to what might happen next, but it directly tell readers as to how one story might end. And there’s no beat around the bush at that. But surprisingly, I am not annoyed at the free little sneak peek. 

It push me to read faster and it keep me intrigued and curious. The narratives are so cleverly written, beautifully crafted and of course, unique. Even though I stated before that it does not feel like reading a heavy topic book, I succesfully and ungracefully wetting my face in the middle of the night.


I could not recommend this book enough. I am so sure that this book will be a future classic! Highly Recommended!

“I am haunted by humans.”

Author: Celine

9 thoughts on “Book Review : The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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