Review: The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  • ISBN-13: 9780375842207
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
  • Publication date: 9/11/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Source: Purchased

Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

My thoughts about The Book Thief are very hard to put together since this book truly blew me away and I have no idea why I did not read it sooner.  Set in Germany in the 1940’s in the midst of World War II, The Book Thief is narrated by Death. Liesel Meminger is quickly introduced as the book thief as she travels to her new foster family with her mother and younger brother.  Her brother dies on the train and Liesel steals her first book, The Grave Digger’s Handbook, when it is dropped in the cemetery.  She keeps this a secret until her foster father discovers the book one night.  Together the two explode the words and Liesel’s world expands.  

It is so hard for me to put words to how I feel about this book.  I know that it has been said by so many but this is truly an unique and mind-blowing book, the history and feeling that went into the story writing is more than I have seen in a very long time.  I tend to struggle with books that are set in such a dark time and have many negative issues but this is the exception.  This book made me sit back and really think about this time in our world’s history and what it would have been like.  

I did face one large challenge when it came to reading The Book Thief and that was the style in which it was written.  While I enjoyed the narration from Death it often interrupted the flow of the story for me and I had a hard time getting back on track.  Even though this was a challenge it does not affect my overall feelings and rating of this book.  I do not know any other books that fall into this category for me.  Typically, if I have a hard time with the style I do not enjoy the book as much.  Not so with The Book Thief.

My Rating:

 

 

 

5 Amazing Little Penguins – WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!

Review: The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts

  • ISBN-13: 9780425246030
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Series: Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #2
  • Source: From Publsiher

The Last Boyfriend Synopsis:

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist – and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish…

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation – and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected – and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last…

My Thoughts:

 I was very excited to find Avery and Owen as the lead characters in The Last Boyfriend.  Even in Happily Ever After I was drawn to Owen and his matter of fact way of getting business done.  I kind of figure that he would be drawn to Avery.  Their personalities and quirks seems to be a decent match.  What I enjoyed even more was the growth and opening of the Inn.  I have always wanted to run a Bed and Breakfast so this behind the scenes peek at what it might take was probably a bigger draw for me than most readers but I find it all fascinating.  The ideas that grow in the characters of this story are amazing and as always there are a few surprises along the way that I never saw coming and since they are not mentioned in the blurb for the story, I am not going to share them either.  That being said, the background that we get in this story is amazing and explains so much.  Owen was Avery’s first boyfriend way back when they were just little kids, little did they know that down the road they would find themselves together again.  Owen, for sure, has his work cut out for him when he realizes that he has fallen for Avery because she has other things on her mind and since Owen’s family holds the key to all her dreams, she can’t bring herself to just fall for him.

Nora Roberts does an outstanding job with balancing the love story and the plot that ties the three books together.  In The Last Boyfriend, we get to see what is going on with Clare and Beckett and the boys from The Next Always as they come up on their wedding date, building a home for them all to live in and the opening of the Inn.  It is always nice to catch up with old friends and find out what is going on.  That is one of my favorite things about Nora Roberts trilogies.  Not only is she an outstanding story teller but she is great at keeping us in the loop.

My absolute favorite scene in The Last Boyfriend is that of the night before the Inn opens to the public when everyone stays at the Inn.  The joy and sense of accomplishment is grand and there are some surprises along the way, including a visit from the friendly Inn ghost.  While this is a smaller story line that in some of the previous Nora Roberts book, I enjoy it. 

My Rating:

 

 

 

It should come as no surprise that I love Nora Roberts and her books. 

5 PENGUINS!

I hope you will check this one out!

 

Early Review: Sky Dragons by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey

Sky Dragons: Dragonriders of PernSky Dragons: Dragonrides of Pern by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey

  • ISBN-13: 9780345500915
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series
  • Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling mother-and-son team of Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey comes the final installment in the riveting Pern saga that began with Todd’s solo novel, Dragonsblood. Now, with all of Pern imperiled by the aftereffects of a plague that killed scores of dragons and left the planet helpless against the fall of deadly Thread, the only hope for the future lies in the past.
 
There, on an unexplored island, a group of dragonriders led by Xhinna, a brave young woman who rides the blue dragon Tazith, must battle lethal Merows and voracious tunnel-snakes to build a safe home for themselves and the dragons, whose offspring will one day—if they survive—replenish Pern’s decimated dragon population. But as the first female rider of a blue dragon, and the first female Weyrleader in the history of Pern, Xhinna faces an uphill battle in winning the respect and loyalty of her peers . . . especially after an unforeseen tragedy leaves the struggling colony reeling from a shattering loss.
 
Amid the grieving, one girl, Jirana, blessed—or cursed—with the ability to foresee potential futures, will help Xhinna find a way forward. The answer lies in time . . . or, rather, in timing it:the awesome ability of the dragons to travel through time itself. But that power comes with risks, and by venturing further into the past, Xhinna may be jeopardizing the very future she has sworn to save.

 My Thoughts:

Xhinna, rider of blue Tazith, has found herself three Turns in the past and responsible for the future of Pern.  In her own time, a plague has devastated the dragon population, leaving to few alive to fight Thread.  In a desparate attempt to repopulate the wyers, Xhinna and several others have used the unique dravonic ability to travel back in time to give the few surviving hatchlings a chance to mature before the Red Star returns, and Thread with it.  A vicious feline attack has left Tazith as the only mature dragon capable of flight.  Xhinna must now find a way to feed, shelter and protect the humans and dragons in her care.  As the first female rider of a blue dragon, her successes and failures are judged more harshly than if she had been a male rider.  When help, in the form of more riders and mature dragons, arrives from the present time, Xhinna tries to relinquish her authority.  But she finds that too many others rely on her.  In addition to her responsibility as a leader, Xhinna must also deal with the emotional conflict she experiences as her lover, Talia, becomes involved with some of the male riders.  Will Xhinna be able to save Pern?

I found this book to be one of the more emotionally touching in the Dragonriders of Pern series.  Each book seems to be better than the previous.  Sky Dragons is the final book in the current storyline. Readers new to the series would be better off starting with either Dragonflight, the first in the world of Pern, or Dragon’s Kin, the first in this particular storyline.  Long time fans of the series will not be disappointed with Sky Dragons.

With the passing of Anne McCaffery last year, Todd and his sister, Georgeanne Kennedy, are the only two authorized to write in the world of Pern.  I hope Todd continues to write, as I have found his books to be just as good as those written by Anne.  In the author’s note to Dragon’s Time, Anne mentioned she was working on After the Fall Is Over, the conclusion to the story of F’lar and Lessa.  I am hoping that Todd knows enough of the story to be able to finish it, but I have not yet heard anything about it.  Fingers crossed.

 
My Rating:
 
 
 
 
 
5 Penguins – Outstanding!