The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand.
I have a bit of a soft spot for this series. It was given to me as a Christmas present back in 2004. Unfortunately, like with Harry Potter, I placed this baby on a shelf and didn’t touch it for a couple of years, not even when I got the second book, The Golem’s Eye. Then one day, during the summer before I started my Junior year of high school, I finally picked up the book. I had been looking through my book shelf, trying to figure out which books I should give away or put in storage. I had been tempted to give this book away, since I’d never read it, but I decided that before I would do anything, I would read a bit of the book.
I ended up spending that afternoon, as well as the rest of the week, leaning over The Amulet of Samarkand and being entranced with the story Jonathan Stroud had weaved. I wanted more–and I got more.