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Reviewer: Rebekah

Title:  The Book Thief
Author:  Markus Zusak
Source: Library
Pages: 550 Pages
Genre: YA Fiction/ Historical Fiction/ Experimental
Publication Date: March 14, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5

 It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

This might just be one of my new favorite books, ever.

It took me a while to finish it. I think most people (or at least the people who are on Goodreads) couldn’t finish it quickly either because it’s not a quick read. It’s heavy.

The main character, Liesel, isn’t your average girl. She’s poor and alone, but she’s also tougher than she looks. It’s hard not to feel what she feels. Her misfit friends and family are some of the best characters I’ve read in a while. Who couldn’t love the boy with lemon hair? Or the gentle, accordion-playing Papa?

Her love and fear of words and books drives the story. You see power and destruction, love and hate, death and life. All by words.

I should also talk about the narrator, huh? I don’t want to give anything away, but if you pick up this book and start to read…it’s probably not going to be what you expect at first. But keep reading, because the narrator keeps an open perspective. You learn about Life through Death.

Like I said, it’s a heavy book. But it is also beautiful. You can’t go into a book set during Holocaust time during Germany expecting happy endings all around. But you’ll gain much more, I think.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Reviewer: Rebekah
Series: yes
Rating: 4.5/5

Just finished this a few hours ago.

Wow.

Where do I start?

I’ve been hearing about this fantastic book for a while now, so I bought the paperback very cheap at a used book store. It’s been on my TBR list for a while.

Before I explain how freakin’ awesome this book is, I will say that it was not perfect. It was hard to get into, and a little difficult to get used to the financial journalist and big-shot business lingo (it also was hard to transition from “sweet” YA novels….I just finished Lola and the Boy Next Door).

I’ve heard a few complaints from bloggers and reviewers on the web who did’t like the writing style. It wasn’t my favorite either, but I think it worked for this type of novel. In a way the no-nonsense, straightforwardness reflected the personality of Lisbeth (the tattooed anti-heroine). It’s a crime novel, guys. If the writing was any more descriptive, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the really disturbing parts. And there were quite a few. It wasn’t an easy novel to read (but I couldn’t stop reading).

Needless to say, this book is not for the faint of heart.

The plot. Oh, the plot. A twist here, red herring there, and then BAM.
DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING, HUH? At one point, I actually jumped out of my comfy little futon.

STIEG LARSSON, YOU TOTALLY FOOLED ME! and just about everyone else, by the looks of it.

Anyway, can’t give anything away.

As for the leads Lisbeth Slander and Mikael Blomvkist: yes.

Mikael wasn’t my favorite at first. He definitely has his flaws, but he’s the perfect protagonist for this kind of novel. By the end, I loved him.

Lisbeth. Can’t understand her but I loved reading about her. She has her own code. She is who she is. She’s tiny, but she’s mean. She’s not all “there,” but she’s genius.

Am I going to read the second?

I’ve already got it in my backpack.