First is the Mortal Instruments series (otherwise known as City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass) by Cassandra Clare. These are better than Twilight in my opinion (gasp!). She has a new book coming out in August called Clockwork Angel, which I am very excited about. There's something about her writing that's pretty engaging--keeps you turning the pages. She also does a great job with constant action--there's not a lot of dull moments/backstory filling up the pages before you get to one big climax scene. I try to do the same thing with my writing--hopefully I am successful. Anyway, remember that name: Cassandra Clare. Good stuff. Good stuff.
The second is a new author that I came across. I will now give the shameless plug: she is a friend of mine's cousin. Her name is Angie Fraizer and her debut novel is called Everlasting. It's a historical fiction with a splash of fantasy mixed in there. I will be the first to admit that I absolutely LOVE historical romances... Jane Austen is my hero. This book had a great mix of sea adventure, love, and weird fantasy elements. It's the first in a series (or at least there should be a sequel coming). So stay tuned and keep an eye out for her books. I've also read the Vampire Academy books, most recently book number five: Spirit Bound. The first three books in the series were great, but I'm worried about how the series is going. It almost seems like she needs to end the series in a good place instead of dragging it out. Trust me, she's dragging it out. If the series goes beyond six books, I don't think I can continue on with it. Don't get me wrong, they're entertaining, but the plots are going all whacko.
Moving on to adult reading. If you like short stories and great writing, check out Amy Hempel. She's got an amazing collected works of short stories out there. I also enjoyed Wells Tower's collection: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. Why the short stories you ask? Because all we studied in my MFA program were short stories. Too bad we didn't study YA or more contemporary writers out there. Anyway, that's my short list. Enjoy... OH! and share your own favorites? Has anyone read "Huge" by Sasha Paley? I know they just made it into a TV series on ABC Family and I have to admit I'm very curious but also a bit apprehensive.