I first picked up The Book Thief in the summer of 2013. I will never forget it. It is not often that a book makes me feel the way The Book Thief did when I finished it, and I immediately recommended it to everyone I knew, wanting to see someone else grow to love it as much as I did. To this day, my old, battered, paperback copy has been read more than any other book on my shelf.
This year I decided it was time to give it a second look. I wanted to see if it still held its special place in my heart after almost 4 long years. And it did.
From the first page it took hold of me once again. The eerie narration from death, the beautiful descriptions, and the characters that break my heart every time. By reading it through a second time, I feel as if I paid more attention to the details, the foreshadowing and the use of the words to paint the story in a powerful way. I fell in love again with Liesel, Rudy, Max, Hans, and even Rosa who I didn't really care for my first time through.
The themes that are highlighted throughout the book also became clearer to me, and I was able to appreciate its message more. The importance of books and words and knowledge could've been told in many different ways. However, the World War II setting, the way it was told and narrated, the view of Nazi Germany that it portrays, all connect together so well, in ways that are surprising and profound, especially as I read it through a second time.
It's somewhat difficult for me to write about this book. I honestly believe it to be perfect, even though I'm sure it has its flaws. I could ramble on and bore you all for hours and hours about how much this book means to me. About how much I wish I could go back in the past and read it again for the first time with fresh eyes. Markus Zusak has truly written a masterpiece that, I am happy to say, will stay with me forever.
I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --Markus Zusak