The Reader by Bernard Schlink.
Today I have decided to move away from the "young adult" section for this review. The Reader is a concise, "stick to the point" novel that you can actually read in a sit (It is no more than 200 pages).
The story focuses on the life of Michael Berg, in his romantic life I should say. The story narrates particular periods of his life in which he meets love, then the effects of that love and then, he faces that love.
The novel begins just after WWII, when Michael is just a teenager. He is sick and a woman helps him. That woman is Hanna Schmitz, with whom the boy will have an affair. They are very different from each other, not only by their ages (she is on her 30s and he, again, is a teenager) But their personalities clash from the very beginning of the story, you see a strong, intriguing woman and a loving boy, who is madly in love with someone who he barely knows. And then, at the end of the summer, and with no notice, Hanna disappears.
My personal favorite part of the story is the middle section, or as I have previously called it: "the effects of that love". 8 years after the affair, the lovers meet again in a very different situation. Michael is a law student, Hannah is being judged for her job as a SS guard in the last years of the war. From that moment on, there's a sort of thriller feeling while you are reading, all the sexiness from the first part is gone and Michael begins a sort of "pursuit" for the truth of his youth.
The narrative is brilliant, so intense that again, you really don't want to put the book down. This is one of the only books that I have read more than once, and every time I read it feels like the first time. Fresh, sexy, thrilling… The reader is a wonderful story, with great characters and terrifying background that will make you feel, think and experience things that not many 200 books can give… One of my favorites.
MadHatterSays: Read it!