Book & Movie Review: The Book Thief

Did I read this book past the peak of its popularity? Of course I did! While I am an avid reader, my TBR list is so long that I can purchase a book the year it comes out and then it takes me several years to get around to it!

Honestly, I’ve only had this book for maybe a year or two. I purchased it secondhand because I was curious why this novel had been such a big deal. It was never actually on my TBR list until I purchased it. I finished it about two weeks ago and here is my honest first impression of it-

I understand why this book has sold over 16 million copies.

I did go into this book a little apprehensively. It’s set in Nazi Germany/during the Holocaust, so there are a lot of horrible things that are mentioned and happen in this novel. We see firsthand the risks that people took to hide Jewish people in their homes, and what could happen to them if they spoke up for Jews or were caught hiding them. We also see how some people had to pretend to agree with the führer even though they didn’t believe in his views. They went along with it out of fear of what might happen to them and their loved ones should they be found out.

I learned about The Holocaust in school, but this book showed it through a whole other perspective. This novel truly shows just how horrific was for everyone during that time. I wouldn’t consider myself interested in history in the slightest and I know this book is fictional, but his is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, and I don’t say that lightly.

From the beginning up to the very end, I was hooked. I needed to know what was going to happen to Liesel and the people in her life. And when I finished the book, I watched the move the next night so I could compare the two.

I loved this book. I love Leisel and her commitment to learning to read and books. I don’t even fault her for stealing books because it proved to be a great distraction during the hard times she and others faced.

I thought using Death as the narrator was brilliant. Honestly, Death’s narrations were some of my favorite parts of this novel. And Death’s last line in the novel (which is also the last line of the novel) is chilling. I read it and I felt the impact of those words. If you read the novel, you know what I’m talking about!

I loved the relationship between Liesel and her adopted father. I loved how Liesel treated Max as a friend and confidant during a time when others saw him as less than human. When Max left her family’s home, I hoped with her that he was alive and well. *SPOILER* And when they are reunited at the end of the book, I teared up and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Overall, if you haven’t read this novel, you should. I think this should be a required reading for children in school because they could learn so much about History and humanity from it.

Now after reading the book, I decided to watch the movie. I know the last time I did this, I was severely disappointed in both the book and movie (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), but I felt more optimistic this time around as I really enjoyed the book.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was a really good adaptation from the book. However, there were a few things missing from the movie that bothered me.

  1. I missed the narrator element that was in the book. The narrator really made the book more interesting, so I would have loved more of that in the movie.
  2. They took out Liesel’s older adopted siblings, which took away from Papa’s storyline, making it very watered down and nowhere near as interesting as it was in the novel.
  3. They cut out of lot of Liesel and Rudy’s relationship, which didn’t make his movie death feel as heartbreaking as his book death did.
  4. I didn’t like that they took out Liesel receiving books for Christmas. Since books play a significant role in this novel, anything involving books should have been left in.
  5. They took out almost all of the stealing Liesel did, which played a big role in her character development and in her relationship with Rudy.

Those complaints aside, I would still recommend watching the movie as it was really good.

Have you read The Book Thief? If so, did you like it? If you watched the movie, hat were your thoughts on it? I would love to know! I hope everyone has a great week!

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