There are literally hundreds - no thousands - of books in this category on which I could wax lyrical. Instead, though, I have to choose one. After much thought, I've decided to talk about one I know I've spoken of before.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is one of my favorite books. I read it in August 2007 (so long before it became a film) and I was gripped from the first few pages. The story, which begins in 1973, centers on 14-year-old Susie Salmon. As expected, the first few pages of the book talk about Susie's life and how excited she is just being a child. Then, however, the book takes a bit of a turn. One cold afternoon while walking home from school, Susie detours through a field and comes across her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. He has built an underground shelter and asks Susie if she would like to see it. Being the inquisitive child she is, and having that false sense of security that pervaded most people in the early '70's, Susie agrees. It is only minutes after entering the shelter, though, that Susie realises something isn't right. She tries to leave, but Mr. Harvey grabs her and that is the end of Susie's life on earth. She is raped and murdered by Mr. Harvey.
This would seem to be the end of the story, right? But, no. Sebold persists with Susie's story, or, more to the point, the story of her family. Susie narrates the tale from her own personal heaven. She follows her family, friends and her murderer for greater than a decade, following their progress from life. As much as she can, she influences their actions, helping them to come to terms with her death and move past it, while coming to terms with her death for herself as well. She also watches Mr. Harvey and hopes to prevent him from murdering anyone else.
So, if you're looking for a great book to read and you can read this kind of book, I highly recommend it! I was crying within the first 30 pages of the book, so I'd advise you to have tissue handy.