30 day book challenge – day 14 – Book that made you cry

The first time I ever cried at a book was one of The Saddle Club stories when I was a child.  I can’t even remember the name of it, but The Saddle Club had gone on vacation to a ranch in Texas.  Towards the end, Tomahawk, the dog of the ranch owner, was bitten by a rattlesnake and died.

I absolutely sobbed my little 7 year old heart out.  To this day, it is one of the most traumatising memories of my childhood, and is one of the most memorable scenes from any book I have ever read (probably due to the heartbreak rather than the quality of the writing).  To this day, I despise and fear rattlesnakes above all other types of snake.

Many more books have made me cry since then, both at happy moments and sad moments.  The one that stands out for me for this post is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

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This is one of my all time favourite books to the point where looking over and seeing it on my bookshelf makes me smile because I own something so special.  It is the story of Liesel, a young girl living with her foster family in Nazi Germany.   This is an extract from the blurb on the back cover:-

“Some important information.

This novel is narrated by death.

It’s a small story, about a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery”

I’m not going to say anything else about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away for anyone that has not discovered this book yet.

What I will say is that this book is unusual because it starts with the end.  It is beautifully written but when I started I out I thought the beginning would turn out to be a mistake.  I thought that the author had shown his hand too soon and this would prevent his readers from emotionally engaging with the story.  Boy was I wrong.  Marcus Zusak is such a skilful writer that he weaves the story around you and draws you in.  It was actually a pretty ingenious idea to start with the end, because this really ramps up the tension towards the end of the book when you know exactly what is going to happen but by this point you have fallen in love with the characters and you dread what you know is coming.  This book made me sob like I had lost Tomahawk all over again.

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Posted on September 11, 2013, in Reading and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree. Death was jumping ahead a lot (especially with showing you only halfway through the book about a certain boy’s fate), but it didn’t hinder the story at all. Normally such foreshadowing would totally piss me off, but the way it was written (especially given the narrator), it just worked somehow.

    http://igeekteenbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/the-book-thief-a-book-review/

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