Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Book Thief

The Book Thief is a tale of WWII, but from the point of view of a little German girl. Plenty of stories have been told by Jews that saw plenty of horrors, and I am not knocking those, but people seem to forget that there were plenty of Germans caught among the events as well. And this is a wonderful story capturing the confusion, fear, and hope of one little girl.

This book had been recommended to me from many sources and always I thought it was just another war story that would make me weep and so I therefore did not want to pick it up. But when a friend sent it to me and I was forced to see it on my shelf every day and hear her ask "So have you read it yet?" I had to confront it. And then I wondered why it had taken me so darn long to pick this book up!

Everything about this book is simply magnificent. Firstly, it is all told from the point of view of Death, a character everyone seems to forget, but Zusak embraces him and allows him to tell the events as he saw them. Then the main character is a little girl who confronts the most profound moments in her little life by stealing! The other characters that surround her are just as flawed, making them each more lovable in their own rights. The imagery is amazing, the voice is beautiful, and the story is poignant.

Am I praising it too much? No, I really don't think enough praise has been given to this book. But maybe something will come from it being made into a movie. I don't know. I believe that this should be on everyone's list of books to read, and most likely reread. I am very happy that I now have a copy on my shelf to turn back to from time to time and encourage others to pick up. It is truly amazing.

Friday, August 2, 2013

False Hope

False Hope is the story of a man named Paul Jakarta and his mission to hunt down and destroy evil. This search takes him to H. W. Mudget High School where a demon has taken over the body of the principal there, making him do evil. It is the first book in a coming series that will follow Jakarta's movements across the country trying to do God's will in taking down the Devil to save mankind.

This book is not my usual order, as I sometimes have trouble with religious novels, but seeing as how my mother wrote it, I felt, of course, the need to see how she has done in writing. And while the result is typical of a first time writer, with room to improve, I have to say that I was not disappointed in the telling of the story.

Let me briefly point out some of my problems, for the benefit of other readers. The book does heavily lean on the use of religion, it is after all a tale of a man sent by God to cleanse the Devil out of America. So you must know that going in or be prepared to have God thrown in your face. Readers who are not of the Christian faith may find it a little difficult to believe parts of this book, but if one has faith, it all seems plausible enough. The only other problem I had with this was the first chapter. Upon first reading it the chapter seems to stand out, a random bit of back story that I didn't immediately associate with the rest of the tale. But the ability to simply ask the author, made life easier. She was able to point out that the child in the first chapter was in fact young Paul, it was a flashback to his past to show the faith he has always had.

Now, let me say that this is a unique tale. Yes demons have been done before, but I do not think that this type of novel has been explored enough, that is one in which faith is so predominate to the story line. After all Paul is fighting in a battle against evil and he has God on his side. I enjoyed reading about someone so focused on his life's work, so sure of what he was doing, with no wavering of his faith.
I also enjoyed the writing, especially the imagery. The author saw the scenes in her mind and made sure that the reader was able to join in on the viewing, giving plenty of detail to make each image real.

I look forward to watching her abilities develop and grow as she continues to tell the story of Paul Jakarta. I already have the next book on my shelf and ready to be read! I encourage everyone to give this author a shot. It is always incredible to find new talent as they strive to tell stories no one else has heard! And look out for her next book Things of the Flesh coming soon!