Markus Zusak (this is my first book by him) is a master story teller, with true and believeable characters. Set in Nazi Germany we witness helplessness, poverty, destruction. Yet also there are simple joys, such as in running, purloined apples, the miracle of books. We get to read in colors - lemon hair, silver eyes, red sky.
This is the first book I ever read that was narrated by Death. Not a black-robed scythe-carrying Death, but one who has a "round heart." Death's narrative style actually reminded me of the way people actually speak: sometimes telling the middle of a story before the beginning, or even starting from the end, with interrutions and reminiscences.