This book surprised me. I expected a half way decent, watered down holocaust story, and that is not at all what it is. The Book Thief is about a poor, orphan girl in Germany during WWII, but it is not a war story. Her family hides a Jew in their basement, but it is not a holocaust story. She grows up with a boy for a best friend, who she discovers that she loves, but it is not a romance. This book is narrated by death, but it is not for shock value and sometimes you are even able to forget who is telling the story. This novel just has so many aspects of it that are unique, from the pages that Max's sketchbook takes over to the knowing what is going to happen but still being in suspense. I read this book because I love historical fiction, but I recommend it to anyone who loves a good, moving story. This is the best work of modern fiction that I have read recently.