Where do I start? Yes, it was an honor book for the ALA Michael Printz award (for YA literature), yes I had some friends who LOVED it, and it came highly recommended from librarians and such. But here’s the rub: I DO NOT (big emphasis on DO NOT) like stories about the holocaust, Nazi Germany, Hitler, the effects of Hitler’s idiocy on Jewish people, his own German people, the rest of the world. SO WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK?????
Answer: I don’t know. Maybe I was hoping for another miracle like The Diary of Anne Frank, but that didn’t happen.
All of that said, here’s how I felt about the book. It was very cleverly written, very innovative and different. It was intense in the emotions it conveyed. Several elements were employed to heighten the drama of the story and I appreciate all of those efforts put forth by Zusak. It invoked some serious emotions in me so I consider it to be an exceptionally well-written book. Personally, I just couldn’t get past the yuckiness of the setting/time/situation of the world. Frankly the despair went from bad to worse (hello! It was WWII! Did I sleep through my history class? Did I really think this would be a hopeful book?) and the innovations Zusak used heightened the sense of foreboding that only a ding-a-ling like myself would be oblivious to when she picked up the book in the first place! I just hope I don’t have nightmares now.
Can you tell I’m a little mad? But I’m not mad at Zusak or anyone who recommended the book, I’m mad at myself for not being true to myself and my likes and dislikes. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson and I won’t have a similar lapse in judgment in the future. Live and learn. How strange to read a book that you think is exceptionally well written, but not like the story. So I’m not going to rate it.