The narrator, Death, tells the story of an orphan, Liesel Meminger, and several families living outside of Munich during WWII.
This is by far the best book I've read this year. It's the kind of book that makes you sit in stunned silence for a few seconds after finishing it. The story is a familiar one, but the writing is poetic and beautiful. There were several times where I stopped and reread sentences or whole paragraphs because I liked them so much. This is some of the most interesting writing I've ever seen in a young adult book. The strangeness of the language totally fits Death, the strange, nonhuman narrator.
I do understand the negative reviews that this book gets. It's experimental, the narrator is extremely intrusive, the writing draws attention to itself, the book is hard to read quickly, and the story isn't anything new. However, none of that bothered me. I thought this book was fascinating.