Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Wow! Where to start? Jean Valjean is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. This story takes his life during this time and follows him through his life. He gets out of prison and breaks into a priest's house. The priest has mercy on him and gives him the items, asking him only to change his life in return. This he does. Valjean starts anew and builds a good life for himself. He becomes a good person. He meets a lady named Fantine. She tells him of her daughter who is living with an innkeeper family. She begs him to take care of her daughter, and then she passes away. Valjean goes and finds her. Her name is Cosette, and she is being abused by her supposed caretakers. Valjean takes her and they leave together. Valjean becomes her father. They move often, keep to themselves, and take care of each other. She meets Marius, who ends up fighting in the war. Valjean fights also. All this time Cosette does not know her true identity. She and Marius end up getting married, and that is when Valjean tells her about her mother and his promise to her. Okay, so my summary could go on and on and I definitely did not do it justice.
This book (non-abridged) is absolutely amazing!!! It is 1,463 pages long, so it is a very long read, but it is worth it! I love the detail, the history, and the story. I love the characters. I love....everything about this book!!! Okay, so can you tell this is my absolute favorite book??? I have read it at least twice, maybe three times (I can't remember), and each time it just gets better. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! There you go, in case you were wondering what my favorite book is, this is it!! I would recommend it for everyone maybe 16 and up (There are prostitutes, and it is a war-time book). It's worth the time put into it! If you're not into such long books, there is an abridged version available and I've heard it's good.
Rated: PG-13 (Prostitution and war-time themes)
Recommendation: High School and Up