The Book Thief is best book I have read so far this year. I have to give a big thank you to Rob at Clinton Book Shop for recommending this book to me. His only words were, "you will love it, trust me." And I did. My only problem is writing a review truly worthy enough. Allow me to try.
The Book Thief can be found in the Young Adult section of your local bookstore, even though it doesn't read like your typical YA book. Not at all. In fact, I found this to be one of the few books in my library that a family could read and discuss. But that's still not the greatest part!
See? I'm already tripping over the review. Let me just get right to the good stuff. The narrator. The Book Thief is narrated by Death himself, but Death, as it turns out, has emotions, empathy and a sense of humor. He warns us of the bad stuff to come. He allows us to prepare, so we're not too shocked or horrified. Even though he gives us fair warning, we can't help but feel the heartbreak and rage that is inevitable when reading a book set in Germany during WWII. We also find that Death is somehow intrigued by Liesel, the young girl who is our book thief. Death first sees her when he comes for her brother, and follows her between his visits to those around her, making profound statements about Hitler. It is through Liesel and Death that we see the Holocaust from a point of new that we have never experienced before.
Zusak is brilliant. The Book Thief is hauntingly beautiful. And I think not only is this one of the best books I've read so far this year, I believe that it ranks among my favorite books of all time, up there with East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Little Women.