The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
It was an AMAZING read, and I'm so glad that we picked it out as our "Halloween" themed book. Although it wasn't particularly scary in a traditional way, it definitely had haunting scenes, and exciting / suspenseful moments throughout.
What I loved about this book went above and beyond what I expected - the characters were amazing (just wait 'till you meet Fermin, he's fantastic), and the story itself was peppered with short stories that all connected and wound themselves into the whole basis of the book. Every story that was told began to unravel the bigger mystery bit by bit until the shocking conclusion at the end.
The story follows Daniel - a young adolescent who works in his father's bookstore in Barcelona. He discovers a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, and makes it his life's mission to find what happened to the author and the rest of his books. A mysterious man is going around the world trying to find every one of Carax's books so that he can burn them, and Daniel will do anything it takes to find out why.
It's not only a mystery, but also a beautifully written and very poetic novel. It's a wonderful homage to the beauty of books and reading - and the way that stories suck you in and change you in the end. It talks about the importance of embracing life and living every moment fully. I'm not ashamed to say I totally cried at the end!
It's a pretty dense book (a lot of information you don't want to miss), but a very deep and wonderful story. I think the version I rented from the Denver library was just under 500 pages. So if you're taking a long journey, or if you want a great winter book to snuggle under the covers with, definitely pick this one up. You won't regret it!