by Markus Zusak
★★★★★ (I'd give it 6 stars if I could)
The first time I read The Book Thief, three years ago, I couldn't stop crying when I finished it. You might think that I wouldn't want to do that to myself again, but it's absolutely worth it. I couldn't put it down. I just finished rereading it and once again, as I read those final pages the waterworks started up.
The book is about a young orphaned girl named Liesel and it takes place in Germany during World War II. That being said, this book is like no other WWII book I've ever read. It's full of hope and love and humor. It is narrated by Death, but not in a creepy way, in a brilliant way. Who could possibly give you a better look at WWII than Death?
The writing is what truly sets it apart. Zusak has a gift for saying simple things in a way that makes your heart ache. The story unfolds like a poem. He wrote the characters so well that I got goose bumps when I reread it, because it was like hearing from old friends. Liesel's best friend Rudy is loyal and sincere and her tough foster mother Rosa is more than meets the eye. A Jewish man named Max changes her life, but more than anyone else, Liesel's foster father Hans Hubermann stole my heart.
This is one of my favorite books I've ever read and one of the few that I universally recommend to people. I have yet to find anyone who hasn't loved it. I will never fully be able to explain the beauty of this story, but I would encourage anyone who hasn't read it to do you immediately!
***Side note: If you listen to the audiobook make sure you look at a hard copy at some point. It includes a few illustrations that are important to the story.