Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Seventeen-year-old Charlie befriends a reclusive neighbor with a mysterious past and finds himself holding the keys to a doorway to another world. Ruled by a corrupt prince who’s destroying his kingdom, the citizens of Empis look to Charlie as their last hope. King weaves countless elements of classic fairy tales including giants, mermaids, and dungeons—just to name a few—into an unlikely hero’s journey through a gritty world with a disfiguring curse looming over it. The first third of the book is a slow burn, but the writing is so sharp and the characters so vivid that when the plot jolts forward, the cemented connection to the characters makes Charlie’s impossible journey feel perilous all the way up until the epic climax.