‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads


1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with her 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.


It’s a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.


My Review

I hated it.

I hated it so much that I don’t even want to rant.

I forced myself to read this all day and didn’t enjoy it for a second.
Maybe I’m cold and dead inside because when the inevitable *sad parts* came all I felt was relief that I would soon be put out of my misery and this obnoxiously written book would finally be at an end.

Did I cry? Did I feel moved? Hell to the no.

My lasting memory of this book is how in the heck is this so popular.


Has everyone else read a different book to me??? This has an average rating of 4.7 among my GR friends and I was so sure that I would love it. I thought this book would break me.

Well I guess I was right in a way because it broke my spirit in that I seriously was giving up the will to live by the end. I just wanted it over so badly.

I was thinking maybe two stars because I can see merits to the plot…

But I have such a strong dislike towards this book. A visceral dislike. That I simply can’t award it two stars.

Because I frequently give two stars to books that I gain some enjoyment from. This sucked the life out of me. Guess I should have known it would as its narrated by the king of life-suckers aka Death. What a dreadful personality he had. He just tried to be a mixture of funny and insightful and it came off as being a smart arse. And a dull smart arse. I normally like smart arses. God knows I am one myself at the best of times…. But this dude… *shudders*

Also that much foreshadowing from you Death. Just say no. Not only does death kill people (or suck their life essences away or what have you) but he kills a story with his smarmy foreshadowing.

As for Liesel. How can I not feel one thing towards this character other than ambivalence after 554 pages????

The supporting characters… Didn’t care one iota about them either. Papa was nice I guess. But it was all so maudlin and they were at best caricatures of people rather than feeling well rounded, living breathing souls.

So yeah.
One star.
And yet another unpopular opinion from me.

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22 thoughts on “‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak – Book Review

  1. Ah, The Book Thief was one of my favourites, and I am fond of Markus Zusak’s work generally, but I really admire your open honesty here. It’s not easy to go against the crowd in a way which is informed, rather than purely emotional and provocative, but you’ve done well here to explain why your response to the book was so strong. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Isobel!!! I’m so pleased that you liked the review even though we share different opinions of the book :))) I do wish I could have loved it but sadly wasn’t to be. I am going to try bridges of clay (I think that’s the title) soon because I would like to give him another shot as an author :)))))


  2. IM
    I just read I hated it in a deep sigh and whew
    i’ve never even heard of this book but god it doesn’t look fun or sound fun at all
    this is a great review as always

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How do you manage to read so many books?!?! 🙂
    And I also didn’t like The Book Thief… I read it a couple years ago and really had to push myself to finish it. At the time I blamed it on translation, as I read it in Portuguese, but I don’t think it was it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh! I clicked this post expecting an avalanche of love and admiration but damn do you know how to give a surprise, girl! 🤣🤣 I cant say anything about it though as I still havent read it but yess, people are crazy over this one! I even read a post by someone last year who has ALL the editions of this book – EVERY SINGLE ONE! I was soo psyched to read it then! And to be honest your review had made me even more curious to read it now! I wanna experience the hatred too, if indeed it is sobad as you say! Still, you did a pretty good and coherent job at relating your hatred, hon, and THAT I ADMIRE I A LOTTT IN YOUU! 😍😍❤️❤️🥰🥰😘😘💕💕💕☔️☔️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHAHAHAHA I do come up with some surprisingly unpopular opinions don’t I….. I just can’t help myself sometimes… I really did think I would love this though, EVERYONE SAID I WOULD….. and then well it was the absolute other end of the spectrum for me…… Imagine owning every single edition of a book though?????? WOW that is some dedication!!!! <333333333333

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YESS YOU DOOO AND WE LOVE FOR ITTT!! 😍😍😘😘😘💕💕❤️❤️☔️☔️
        And its totally fine, hon! Thats the beauty of reading isnt it? No two people read the same book and all that! 😘😉


        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this might be one of the ‘oldest’ books on my tbr and for some reason I just never have the urge to read it. I really don’t know why — maybe coz I’m worried I’ll feel the same way as you do about it 😂 This feeling of not wanting to pick it up is honestly a little annoying to me hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol such an honest review lol
    It’s been yrs I’ve read this book and I can’t quite remember the full plot of it. But the way you explained feels like if I pick up this book again, I will feel differently.
    Really liked your review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I seldom comment, but I always enjoy your reviews, Emer, because they are so heartfelt, either positive or negative. I’ve never read this book, but I am right there with you in loathing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG YES YES YES! Seriously I remember having to read this for English in high school and it was such a chore to get to the end. I think it must have taken me more than a month start to finish. The foreshadowing was brutal. It ruined any chance of the story being unpredictable or somewhat interesting for me. Fab review, as ever Emer! 😀 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

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