Book Review: All the Light we cannot see

Can you believe it? Another review. I am on top of this stuff at the moment. Lets hope i can keep this going! Maybe i catch up sometime soon!

All the Light we cannot see

Author: Anthony Doerr
Language: English
Type of book: Paperback 
Pages:  544
Overall rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5
Book series: No, stand-alone
Book received through: bought it myself
Summary on the book:
"Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and mare-Laure's converge."

Favorite thing/moment in the book: The moments between Marie and her father. They were just beautiful!

Worth reading? 
This is a difficult one. It is worth reading, but don't expect to fall in love with the book or the story right away. I really liked the writing, it is very poetic and beautiful and i liked the constant change between with each chapter between the characters for the most parts, but you basically are chancing the storyline after every page, so if you don't like that you won't enjoy this book. Also the timeline is a bit all over the place and not made clear throughout this book, so if you need that, this book will be difficult for you to read!
I would recommend to read the first two chapters of this book. If you like those, you will enjoy this book. If you don't like them, the book will not be for you. 
Get the book here: Book Depository 

Add to Goodreads 

Full review: 

First thought after finishing the book: Fantastic story parts, realistic portray of the difficulties of life especially at a young age if you have something in your way.

This book is beautiful. There is no denying that. It really is beautiful. 

The writing is very lyrical and poetic and almost haunting. It is descriptive and at the same time doesn't just come out and say what is meant. Its just... different. I really enjoyed it, but my reading buddy (since i read this book as a Buddy read over Goodreads) did not like the writing overly much. 

So you have to like this type of writing, if you don't then you will not enjoy or love this book. 

For me this writing style reminding me of Goethe and Shakespeare in a way. Not because it was written in verse or something of that nature, but simply because of the poetic and lyrical aspects of it. And i personally just thought that if you try to read to much into what is written and not just take the words as they are written you can talk this book and its meanings to death!

I loved the parts with Marie and her Father, they were beautiful. I loved how he tried his best to make Marie see the world around her without actually being able to see it. He did is best to give her the feeling of being able to be independent in a world that would not help her just because she was blind. 
I loved his dedication to doing the best he could for his daughter, for no other reason other then that was just what he could do for her. He could not give Marie her eye sight back, but he could help her in other ways. And he did just that. 

It was just beautiful. I love it. 

I also liked or realistic it is that Marie does want to do more things but just can't. And while i am not blind, i do have a "handicap" that keeps me from doing the normal everyday stuff as everyone else does them without a second thought. And reading how Marie sometimes felt useless or frustrated with the world around her, simply because she did not understand why she had to live with what she was given, it was just very real. 
And at the same time Doerr did not focus on that, but rather on the positive sides of it. He made clear that Marie understood how lucky she was with having her kind of father and their kind of live. And that she did not take for granted how she was able to live especially with her handicap. He did not write Marie whining, but as a strong character that accepted that she would aways depend on others in her life. 

I also enjoyed how Werner was written and the kind of handicaps he had to deal with. He was physically fine, he but being an orphan in a very poor mining town growing up in an orphanage just destined him to become a miner -just as his father was and where his father died. Nobody ask Werner if he wanted to become a miner, he was expected to become one, because of the city he lived in and the situation he was in. 
He had dreams of studying engineering, figuring out and understanding the world and making it better and easier for everyone with little inventions. It was great to read such a bright spirited smart boy that at the same time understood that if he did not do something -aynthing!- he would die in a mining shaft no matter how big his dreams were. 

Doerr really managed to write fantastically realistic characters that understand their situation and also understand that sometimes you had to do things that you did not want to do them, simply because you had to do them. And those characters learned that lesson very early on in their life and accepted that as a fact in life. 

All those parts, the lives, the growing up and the start and overall story of Werner and Marie i really enjoyed. They were fantastically written, interested and just great. I loved those!

And now to the parts i did not enjoy: 

I did not like that half of the German words was wrong (I am talking about you Jungmänner! Its Junge Männer!). Especially single words where not in the right time or just wrong and to literally translated out of english. Which is not something big, but if you are writing a book about germany, please (PLEASE!) figure out at the time of the internet and easily available translates or overall people that would be more then happy to help you for free to translate a few sentences of german correctly!
It just bugs me. It might not be something other people notice, but its just... its just something that goes on my nerves when you have all those easy possibilities to not make those mistakes!

I also did not like that the measurements did not match the actual European measurements! We -as in Europeans, in Germany and France!- do not use miles! We use Kilometers in Europe, people! 
If you write a book about those areas of the world, would you please use the right measurements? Thanks. Much appreciated. I know this is a little thing, but its just... its something that when ever they talk about the amount of miles they walked or what ever, it just got on my nerves and i had to keep myself calm and try to overlook it. 
Another thing -this time a big one- that i really did not like, was the jewel aspects of the story. Those parts where boring and i just did not understand why the heck Doerr found it necessary to include them. 

He could have just left the book focused on Marie and Werner and their life before and during the war and it would have been such a fantastic book, it would have been a perfect book then! And he could have left everything as it is, just make this book about 150 pages shorter. And I think the book would have been so much better if he would have just left those stupid stone moments out of it!

Those aspects where just... boring. And as i said, i did not understand the necessity of them and so they just.... i didn't understand them. 

And lastly i did not love the ending of the book. I did not like how the character that had big part of the ending. I did not like that some of the characters never really got an ending that was made clear. If they died and how, if they lived and where just wounded. I wanted to know what happened to them and i did not get a clear answer! That is a bit frustrating to me. 

Still overall it was an actual ending so that was good. This story is done, and i did enjoy that because as you might already know about me i do not like open-endings in books, and this one actually had a real ending. so there is that. 

All in all? 

Great book. 
Fantastic writing!
Wonderful main characters. 
Overall good story idea and storytelling.
Some parts were boring and could have just been left out and made the book better. 

But still, i enjoyed the book and i will see what else Doerr has written and try something else by him, because i enjoyed his writing that much. 

Have you guys read this book?
What did you think?
Loved it?
Hated it?
Didn't feel strongly either way?

Let me know, i want to hear what you think!

Write more later.... 


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