This is the best book I've read this year.
I know I've said that before, but this really is the best book I've read in 2010. I kept stopping while I was reading it and saying out loud "This is the best book!"
The story centers around David, a little boy living in England during World War II, whose mother has just died. He's extremely depressed, and turns to the books his mother loved for comfort. Before long, he realizes that he can literally hear the books speaking to him - calling him. Suddenly, David is catapulted into a fantasy world, battling for his life and the lives of those he loves.
I can't begin to convey the magic of this book. It so reminded me of a grown-up version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which is honestly my favorite story ever written). The closest I can get to categorizing it is if The Chronicles of Narnia and "Willow" got together and made a new story.
It's a dark fairy tale, to be sure - Connolly isn't afraid to kill off likeable characters, and some of the scenes are downright spooky (The Crooked Man gave me the heebie jeebies like no other evil character ever has). But oh, it's just such a lovely, lovely story.
This may sound silly, but when I reached the end of the book, I actually teared up. It was just so perfect that it made me cry.
This book definitely goes on my favorites shelf - it's the kind of book I hope to pass down to my children and grandchildren.