A book tricked me into reading it.
If I had known it was about war and Nazi Germany, I never would have.
Somehow, probably the same way I thought The Hunger Games was about more vampires (and avoided it for years), I got the idea that The Book Thief was a middle grade fantasy (and checked it out from the online library). By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late.
I was hooked. And I'm glad.
Normally, I shy away from sad books and movies. I prefer to be happy. Ironic, considering that the title of my own WIP is Second Death, and it's pretty dark. Sometimes I ask myself what I'm doing, writing something like that, even after I worked through to the answer: I'm channeling my inner Poe and writing the book that wants to be written. But there's a difference between dark and creepy and downright sad and depressing.
And yet, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak manages to bring happiness into the sadness, kind of like life. Even a very hard life. The hardest kind of life.
I love the imagery. Papa's eyes were "like soft silver, melting." Wow.
I love the themes, especially the one of books and writing. Once we let them go out into the world, there's no telling where our words will land.
The narrator is perfect. Zusak paints a warm and resonant portrayal of Death.
Everything about this book is amazing, poignant, inspiring, touching, painful, exquisite, and beautiful...heart-wrenching and heartwarming all at once. In short, this is masterful storytelling and wordsmithing at its very best.
You should read it. You'll be glad you did, too.