My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that I'd heard a lot about and about which many people had strong feelings, so I was forced to read it so that I could have an opinion.
Now that I've read it I have an opinion, and that opinion is that Hans Hubermann is now on my list of the greatest characters in literature, especially since I used to know someone like him -- the kind, silver-eyed old man, with the mischievous wink and smile and the sparkling eyes. I don't care that Death likes Rudy the best. Hans Hubermann is my favorite.
I wrote a more professional, balanced review over on the Exodus website where I discuss all of this much further. Here are my thoughts at the beginning of that review and you can read the rest by clicking the link...
The Book Thief is not an average novel. Perhaps that's putting it lightly. The Book Thief is unconventional and different in a way that will either shove you out of the story or pull you head first into it. It has been both praised for being emotionally resonant and despised for being emotionally manipulative. Call it creative, call it pretentious, the truth is that Book Thief doesn't really care what you think. It freely uses or discards the rules of novel writing in order to achieve its own unique tone and style. Whether you love or hate that style is up to you.
Our narrator is Death. The year is 1939. (Continue reading at Exodus Books.)Basically, Book Thief fully merits the four stars I gave it. It was refreshing (and painful!) to read about WWII from the German side, especially to read about the Germans who were just caught up in the war, like everyone else.
I also saw the Book Thief movie and it was excellent (although there were a few parts I wished they had included, like Liesel's seeing Max in the parade). Geoffrey Rush was amazing as Hans Hubermann. The part where he sat at the kitchen table sobbing with Rosa was gut-wrenching.
So, yeah. I guess you could say I liked The Book Thief.
—the girl who does not acquire books by thievery