The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Oh, did I cry at the end of this one. I might not be able to write a coherent review at the moment; that ending just reduced me to a pile of snotty tissues. Let's be honest. Zusak's writing and style really swelled to something gorgeous then. He really took time to make it pretty dang perfect.

The last half really kept me glued to the pages, but I wish the first had the same immediacy. I found the book a little hard to get into--I think, maybe, until Max made his entrance. It almost seems to me that everything that came before him was backstory that I wish had been abbreviated somewhat.

I did really enjoy Death the Narrator and his little inputs, surprisingly. It's not something I'd usually fall for, but I think, especially towards the end, the narrator really made sense to me. It made such an impact that would've been lost without it.

I also have to mention that I absolutely adored Rudy Steiner (though not the bit with the blackface; I think the book could've done without that, to be quite honest . . . ). The way Zusak connected his every action to something that happened later in the book was brilliant, albeit heartbreaking. Even mentioning what happens to him early on didn't lessen the pain when his scenes finally occurred in the end.

Anyway, I can't really write more than that at the moment. I'm still frustrated and blubbering.