Rating: 1.3.4 (PG-13)
Recommended audience: Mature teen to adult
Category: Historical, considered YA fiction
When I was about a third of the way through The Book Thief, I was enjoying the book but wasn't sure what all the hype was about. At the end, I understood why so many people liked it but I wasn't sure how I felt about it. It's now been a few weeks since I finished it and I'm finally going to try to write a review. This is the kind of book that I didn't love while I was reading it but looking back on it now, I will say that it is very good. The setting is Nazi Germany and the protagonist is Leisel, a young girl trying to make sense of the turmoil all around her. The thing that really makes the story unique is that the narrator is Death. That took a while to get used to and I felt like it didn't always "work" (there were some inconsistencies or problems with the point of view) but it added some interesting touches. There was quite a bit of profanity (some blasphemous) but it never got into any really harsh swear words, so while the profanity put me off, I would still recommend this book to many people I know (with a strong profanity disclaimer). I'm still waffling between a 4 and a 4.5 star review, but I'll go ahead and stick with the 4.5 because it did touch me, I came to really care about the characters, and whenever I think about it I remember some of the emotions I felt as I read it.