Okay so it is a tragedy that I was hosting a boatload of people to not be able to give this review its proper due but I will at least put something down here to publicly declare my love of this book.
1. Perspective--GENIUS!! When was the last time someone personified death? The closest thing I can think of is little Susie Creepsville from a cloud on Lovely Bones and that was yucka. This was a really lovely story--made me fear death just a little less to personify it and think of it as a warm and lovely hug when you die.
2. Story--ORIGINAL!! How many depressing, concentration camp tales have been written? Hundreds. But how many get a communist Russian-born chica in a non-Nazi party German family? One. And brilliant.
3. Romance--HEARTBREAKING!!! Who doesn't fall in love with Rudy? And then the little Jewish stowaway?? I seriously loved this story and was totally unsatisfied but in a really okay way. Better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all, right?
4. Father figure. !!!! Sitting by her bed every night? I was thinking he was going to be creepy but no! I just felt sad all over that I never got this business in my life. I was so, so, so happy that Liesl got this opportunity.
5. Mayor's Wife. Love. Love. Love. One of my favorite characters ever.
This was one of the best reads of my life. The only sad part is that not everyone universally loves it like HG or CF. It just takes a certain kind of... something to love it to this degree.