BOOK REVIEW: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – by John Boyne

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Title: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, WWII
First published: 2006
Finished reading: June 23rd 2014
Pages: 224
Rating 4,5

He looked down and did something quite out of character for him: he took hold of Shmuel’s tiny hand in his and squeezed it tightly.
“You’re my best friend, Shmuel,” he said. “My best friend for life.”

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The Boy In The Striped Pajamas was a great read. This book by John Boyne can be classified as amazingly moving and is ingeniously written from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. After seeing the movie various times, I already knew this book was going to be sad… And Boyne was able to make the tears flow perfectly while describing the developing relationship between Bruno and the Jewish boy Shmuel. The way Boyne incorporates themes as the Auschwitz concentration camp and other horrible facts of the Second World War and shows them through the eyes of a boy is refreshing. Bruno is too young to understand what’s happening during the Second World War or what his father’s job really implies… With terrible consequences.

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The story is set during the 1949’s in Nazi Germany, where Bruno and his family live a comfortable life in Berlin. His father is an important man and one day the Fury (Fuhrer) visits their home with important news. Soon his father is offered a job at Out-With (Auschwitz) and the family has to move to Poland. Bruno hates it there and wants to go back to Berlin, unable to understand why they moved there in the first place. Being a naive nine-year-old, he cannot grasp the real meaning of his father’s job… And he doesn’t understand what kind of place Out-With really is. When he looks out of his bedroom window, he sees a big group of people wearing striped pajamas and caps. They are all gathered together in a huge area with small huts and a fench surrounding them, and Bruno wonders what is really out there…

Acting like the explorer he wants to be some day, he decides to walk to the fence himself and find out more about those people wearing the pajamas. He knows he’s not supposed to be going there, but his curiosity wins and soon finds himself close to the fence. Bruno then meets a small Jewish boy named Shmuel, prisoner at the Out-With camp. They discover they were born the same day, and soon share more than that… Bruno tries to visit his new friend every day, sharing thoughts and food with the boy. Somehow sensing his friendship with Shmuel might be frowned upon, he decides to keep him a secret. When Bruno’s mother wants to move back to Berlin, he decides to pay one last visit to Shmuel. Bruno had promised to help find the Jewish boy’s missing father, and he wanted to discover for himself what was behind the fence. He had asked Shmuel to bring him an extra pair of striped pajamas so he could walk around the camp unseen…

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The Boy In The Striped Pajamas is a beautiful, but very sad story to read. Make sure to keep a box of tissues close as you will probably need it during the last few chapters. And make sure you watch the movie too if you haven’t; both are definitely recommended! Keep away if you don’t like sad endings though.

WWW Wednesdays #2 – June 25th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

mazeI’m probably going to finish The Maze Runner by James Dashner later tonight, as I have only about 50 pages left…  The story itself about a post apocalyptic world where a bunch of teenagers have to find their way out of a maze sounds interesting. But although I know this is YA literature, the made-up slang and dialogue is annoying me quite a bit and distracts me from the story…

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

pajamasI finished The Boy In The Striped Pajamas a few days ago and still have to post the review… I must say John Boyne was able to bring tears to my eyes with his story about a nine year old boy Bruno. Set during WWII, we get to know Bruno about the time his Nazi-father gets a job at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Bruno is too young to really understand what is going on at Auschwitz, and makes friends with a Jewish boy (prisoner at the camp)….

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

faultI know, I’m probably the last person on earth to read this book. I saw the movie trailer the other day, and knew it was finally time to tackle The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. In a way I’m a bit afraid to read it since it has created such an hype, but I guess I want to see for myself what this book is all about.

 

 

These are my answers; how about you?

WWW Wednesdays #1 – June 18th

wwwwednesdays

Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

    • What are you currently reading?

atonement I started reading Atonement on Monday after various recommendations and I’m currently about halfway through and loving it. The way Ian McEwan writes just makes me want to read more and more, even if I don’t have a lot of time to read right now. I will be reading more of his work soon for sure! (Sweet Tooth and Saturday for example)

 

    • What did you recently finish reading?

extremely I finished Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer on Monday, and I loved the story about the quirky and curious boy called Oskar. Although the story is about grief and loss, the things that Oskar did or said were able to make me laugh at some points. Reading the story means entering the mind of a very special young boy, and it’s an interesting journey for sure.

 

    • What do you think you’ll read next?

pajamas There are a lot of interesting books on my TBR list, and it’s too hard to choose. So I followed littleonionwrites example and made a TBR cup from which I will randomly draw a next book. I got The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. I remember seeing the movie a few years back, and since I’m always interested in WWII themed books, I will enjoy this story for sure.

 

These are my answers; how about you?

Top Ten Tuesday #1 – June 17th: Winter TBR

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Originally featured at The Broke And The Bookish, every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday I will post my Top Ten Books On My Summer Winter TBR list! I know that officially it’s suppost to be the Summer TBR list, but since I’m living in Argentina and will be facing winter instead of summer, I made this little adaption. During winter I love to curl up somewhere warm, with a good book in my hands and a cup of steaming tea/hot chocolate nearby. These ten books below I think would be perfect to help me survive those cold and dark winter nights. In no particular order and with short descriptions copied from Goodreads:

  • The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: “…the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.”

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  • The Shining by Stephen King: “Danny … was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.” 

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  • And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: “…novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.”

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  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: “Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.”

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  • The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: “…Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.”

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  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: “Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal.”

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  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: “A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.”

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  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: “After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.”

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  • Black Roses by Jane Thynne: “Clara Vine is young and ambitious, and determined to succeed as an actress. A chance meeting at a party in London leads her to Berlin…into an uneasy circle of Nazi wives…Then Clara meets Leo Quinn who is undercover, working for British intelligence. Leo sees in Clara the perfect recruit..”

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  • Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom: “…this tale follows the fortunes of three young men, navigating the tumultous world of 1940s Spain. As the Second World war begins, one is sent to spy on another and the ramifications of a tragic love story will haunt them all.”

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