Book Review/Reaction: The Book Thief

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers! It's a bloody review post, what did you expect?

I first heard about this book when one of my friends loosely mentioned it last year in a conversation about I don't even know what. Sometime this year, she mentioned again whilst talking about books. Go figure. The way I see things, if someone doesn't shut up about something they like, it's probably good. I'm like that. Ask about the Gone series. Hunger Games. Percy Jackson. Heck, ask about anything I may or may not have one foot in the fandom of. I won't shut up about any of them... and then some.

So based on that logic, coupled with the mentioned fact that said friend wouldn't stop bringing this book up whenever 'book' and 'read' were put in the same sentence, I figured, "Eh, why the heck not," and proceeded to borrow the book.

And that's how I stole The Book Thief.




Bad puns aside, I went into this book without any real expectations. I've trained myself to not trust any other opinions but mine when it comes to books, because I've read books where people whined about how bad it was while I enjoyed it and vice-versa. That said, I may or may not have looked up The Book Thief on Goodreads to see what opinions I'd be henceforth ignoring.

And now that we've recapped how where I got the book from and my initial view of it, on to the actual review!

**Something you should know**
I define 'review' as me spilling my feels about it in a collected manner.
I define 'reaction' as me spilling my feels with the same grace as an egg hitting a wall at 20 m/s.
I don't define either is a recap of the plot. That's what Wikipedia is for.

OH LOOK AT ME, using the formatting style that was present throughout the book. And without thinking, too.

Anyway, if you look up at the title you'll probably notice this is both a review and a reaction. So, I'm gonna throw the egg first.


Yeah, that makes about zero sense.

Here's the more collected, readable version:

Over the course of reading The Book Thief, I probably had to walk around the room picking up my feels on more than one occasion. The characters are wonderful, development was astounding, and certainly never bored me. Sometimes, the things characters did either made me think 'D'aww, that's cute!' or want to slap them upside the head for being such idiots. That's good. That shows I was invested in the characters, which is always a good sign.

How invested was I?

I was on the edge of my seat when Rudy was running. And not even at the competition scene.

For an author to take a scene that would normally just be 'Oh look, he's running' and make it seem like the best thing ever takes a talent, and this guy did it.

Another thing I found great about this book was how the story was structured. Often times, the narrator would reveal a future event, then backtrack and show the events leading to that pivotal event. While confusing at first, I eventually got the hang of it and by the ending scenes of the book, that style served as a motivator almost. Not that I wasn't motivated already; it just made it even more pulse-pounding.

The only time I didn't like that approach was when it was announced that Rudy dies via a bombing in the middle of the book. Story-wise, that's in several years. When I read that, I didn't know it was several years in advance. I thought it was... well, now. That scene didn't happen until the very end of the book. Sure, the impact of the scene made me feels go all over the wall behind my head, but it could have been a lot messier if I hadn't already known it was coming.

So. Blubbering aside, time for the main question: Did I think The Book Thief was good?

Yes. Yes I did.

It was certainly better than I initially made it out to be after reading the back-cover info for it. While some parts of it did seem to get kind of slow, it was remedied by that right after I thought that, the plot did a pretzel on itself and I was immediately stuck back into it again.

I really enjoyed the level of development put into the characters. Over the course of the book, you can easily see how each of the characters matures and changes as the in-plot time advances and things become a lot harder for them. The relationships formed between the characters were a lot more realistic than what's found in most books I read today, which was like a breath of fresh air after enough love triangles to make Trigonometry jealous. And truth be told, I couldn't tell you who my favorite character is because I love all of the main characters.

So, my overall rating?



I loved the characters and how they were pulled off, but the book spoiling its own ending was kind of downside. Although I already knew what was going to happen, the ending scenes had me more emotionally invested than most books can ever manage in their entire series.

Next up: Legend by... I forgot.

- Forgets author names lol


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