I wish I could have reviewed this book as soon as I finished it because I was feeling and thinking so many things I wanted to comment about and now I can't remember half of them.
The story is about Liesel Meminger, a 9-year-old girl living with her foster parents in Nazi Germany, and everything that surrounds her: Mama, Papa, her dead brother, the memory of her real mother, her dad's accordion, her best friend Rudy, book thieving, the Jew hiding in the basement, and, of course, Death.
For starters, the narrator is Death and that fact alone is interesting from page one. The fact that Death turns out to be a nice "person" is even more interesting and I loved whenever Death talked in the first person, always adding some interesting bits of information or recollections.
I loved almost every character, Liesel's new mama was stern and a bit rough around the edges, but she had such a big heart underneath it all, you just had to love her. Her papa was the best character for me, always understanding, always trying to be the best person he could be, even when that was incredibly rare and hard to do under those circumstances.
I loved Rudy, who unlike all boys his age wasn't afraid of girls and was convinced he would kiss Liesel someday (and she was going to want it!) and who stood by her no matter what. He is brave and kind, and he wants to be Jesse Owens, even when it's wrong to want to be a black person.
I loved Max, and the special bond he forms with Liesel, around books, nightmares, and stories. I loved how this book reminds you how books make you feel, even if you only have one and it's a Grave Digger's Handbook.
I didn't think this book was perfect, but it was interesting from the very beginning until the last page. I felt sad, happy, scared, curious, and everything you're supposed to feel when you're reading a book that stays with you somehow for a long time after you've finished it. Five stars!