Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
I decided to mostly focus this list on children’s literature (believe it or not, I do read adult fiction, too), but I have to include this book in a list of favorites. Although there were mixed reviews for this book (more so than most of Gaiman’s works), I love everything about it. This could be because it’s the first Neil Gaiman book I ever read, but I think it’s more than that.
The story seems somehow both simple (the character Door has the ability to open anything) and complex (the world of London Below feels so completely real), and I think that’s the real charm of it. I was so enthralled with the main characters Richard Mayhew and Door and London Below that I didn’t have to worry about remembering the rules for how the world worked or the long list of characters. I was new to the world, as was Richard, and we learned its workings together as he ventured through the plot.
It’s an incredible book. Go read it.