This is my all-time favorite book. My copy is yellowed and dog-eared and falling apart (which is why I also have two backups), yet I can't bear to part with it. I first read it in 5th or 6th grade, so it's been with me for a long time. Back then, I was really into Christian fiction; these days I tend to stay clear, but I keep coming back to this book. The message in it transcends religion and personal beliefs, and really empowered me to do something with my life. The story is heartbreaking yet uplifting, the characters feel like people I've known my entire life, and the ending gives me warm fuzzies. I've read this book at least thirty or forty times since I first picked it up, and I've passed it off on nearly everyone I know. So if any book should get some extra attention, it's this one.
I first read this back in 2009, when I was living in Ireland. The cover was initially what caught my eye, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I couldn't leave the library without it (since then I've made sure to get my own copy). From what I hear, it's a book you either love or you hate - there's no middle ground. It's narrated by Death, and you find out in the first few pages exactly how it's going to end. The thing is, by the time you get to the end, you've forgotten. I bawled like a baby while I read this (more than once, too). It's an incredible story that surpasses any age barriers; I'm convinced anyone could read it and love it.
If you follow LTWF, you know this has been our book of the month for more than one month (mostly because we forgot to change it, but also because this book is just so fantastic). I also raved about it here last month. I'd heard nothing but good things about the book before it came out, but I wasn't prepared to love it as much as I did. It easily catapulted its way into my top five books of all time, where I'm sure it will remain forever more. It's cute, charming, light-hearted, and all-around lovely. The characters are likable, the romance is spot-on, and it's set in Paris. I mean, how could you not like it?
So, happy Singles Awareness Day, bookshelf! We've been together a long time now, and we're still going strong. Maybe your gift to me this year could be some new reading material? I've got a long list of books I need to acquire, and I'm sure you'd love to have them as well. Keep me posted!