Tragic and searing, the book thief is a fantastic and emotional book. It is written extremely well, and it is very absorbing. So many books I have read lately I found myself counting the pages until the end, but not so with this book. This is one of those few books that I found myself disappointed that it was over, and really missing the characters that I had spent the last couple of days with. It's not a very long book in the sense that it is nearly impossible to put down once the book gets going. Not so much that it is filled with action, because there is very little in that regard, but that the book is so absorbing that you want to keep coming back to it. Probably the biggest reason that this is so are the characters. The characters and dialogue are very believable, which is again something that's difficult to find lately, especially in "young adult" books. The author didn't try to palliate anything, the dialogue of the characters was appropriate to the low-class setting that they lived in, and the setting itself was very believable, since it takes place in a time that is well known in human history, world war II. It really does a good job in showing the other side of Germany, the decent people that didn't hate jews, the ones that even go as far as to hide jews from the nazis. The book is also pretty dark and morbid, but considering the narrator of the story is death, this is understandable. I thought it did a lot more for the book and made it more real and emotional and heart-wrenching than if Zusak had sugarcoated what life was really like at this time. But Death in a way makes the story less morbid by using dark humour. It makes it more enjoyable to the typical reader. It can be like watching a train wreck though, at times, because you learn what happens at the end very early in the book, but that doesn't make it any more shocking and sad when that time comes, due to exceptional writing. This is one of those books that isn't ruined even if you know the end, because the prose is so close to perfect that even though you know what will happen, it makes you feel as shocked and devastated as if it had caught you by surprise.
This is simply an incredible book, quite possibly the best of the year, and if you are even slightly interested in WWII, even if you're not, this is a supurb book and you should definitely give it a try.