I think I committed a crime when I put off reading The Book Thief for a long time. It is beautifully written and I felt every word enter my heart. (Okay, that is me being melodramatic)
It took me almost a month to finish The Book Thief. Aside from being busy from work, I really find it a heavy book to read. I cannot put myself to read it for hours straight since I am very much affected by the events from the book.
For almost a month, I felt the roller coaster of emotions Liesel felt. It also helps that I see myself in her shoes. Not as a book thief, but her relationship with the people around her to the point that I had an emotional connection to her.
- Rudy Steiner, her best friend. It is Rudy that I loved the most among the characters. He is the “escape” I needed from the story that sometimes became too depressing for me. I love that everytime Liesel is with him, she is a child. The two of them make their world seem safe despite the war happening in their country. I felt bad for Rudy’s fate for I saw him grow from an innocent kid who colored himself just to be like Jesse Owens to the boy who distributed bread to the Jews. I loved that his character experienced growth despite of it being short-lived. Like Liesel, I got this one best guy friend who often asked for a kiss. As a joke, he would ask me to give him a kiss on his birthday and like Liesel, I never gave him one. Our relationship includes a few friendly conversations and a lot of bantering. He was my Rudy Steiner. He was the one I seek every time I have a story to tell. I tell him everything I do and asked for his advise on things I wanted to do. And just like Rudy, I saw him mature from the playful guy I once met to the man he is now. Though we drifted apart, he’ll always be my Rudy who, whenever I’m with, I can be the kid that I once am.
- Rosa Huberman. The typical mother. She always call Liesel names, but we can see how much she adored her. Liesel may not have told her how much she loved her, but the respect she gives Rosa says it all. It taught us that we can show our love for our parents in different ways. We can be like Liesel. She and Rosa were not close, but they were there for each other especially during the time that their Papa was drafted in the army. Liesel respects and obeys her like any good kid would do. Her love for Rosa is the love that I would like to give my own mother. Though we argue a lot, I would always remember that respect and obedience can be my way to show my love for her. Thank you, Liesel, for teaching that to me.
- Hans Huberman. Papa. I grew up close to my own Papa that I do not recall a moment in my life that I got mad at him. For him, I am a very special girl and he told me that I could be anything I want. He supported me in every way he can, even the time when I decided that I wanted to be an astronaut. Of course we both knew that time that I won’t be an astronaut, but he still told me I can. He died when I was fifteen. He never saw me graduate high school, or took accountancy, or passed the CPA licensure exam. Like Liesel, my Papa was the one I loved the most. It really hit me hard when Hans Huberman died because I know what Liesel would go through. I know that her life would go on without her Papa and there will always be an empty space in her heart dedicated for him. I wished I could console her during that moment.
There. I just poured my heart out because The Book Thief extracted all these hidden emotions from my heart. It truly is a wonderful book and it deserves decades in the New York Time’s bestseller.
I know that this might be one of my most subjective review ever, but I needed to get this out of my chest. I hope that I inspired you to start reading The Book Thief and I would leave you all with this closing line from Liesel.