I'm typically not big on Young Adult novels -- I think the Twilight fad might have something to do with that, along with the spawn of the Paranormal Teen Romance section at Barnes and Noble -- but I might try to read some to try something new. Any suggestions? As of now, the only novels I have of that genre is The Book Thief and a couple of the Harry Potter books.
Well hell, read the Hunger Games! Great entertainment. Also, John Greene is pretty good, and my wife claims that the Maze Runner series is excellent. YMMV
Daniel Pinkwater's 5 Novels and 4: Fantastic Novels (these are two different collections)
Kung Fu High School (although it's more graphic than nearly every adult book out there)
M.T. Anderson's Feed
I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President
Well, I came in here to recommend Feed by M.T. Anderson (but also Thirsty and any other novel by him) and Looking for Alaska by John Green, so I've been beat.
Skinny by Ibi Kaslik is beautiful. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a little cliche but also has some really wonderful moments.
The staple "teen girl YA" authors are Jodi Picoult (a guilty pleasure of mine, read only when sick or upset) and Sarah Dessen. They're like a toned-down Joyce Carol Oates: ninety percent of their work is about rape or molestation. Jodi Picoult has the Palahniuk-style focus in her books, though, where she completely delves into one topic and just gives you everything you could possibly want to know about it.
A lot of teachers and parents love Neal Shusterman; Unwind is currently his hot-topic novel about the eventual compromise between pro-life and pro-choice. It wasn't terrible, but I'm not a big Shusterman fan, so take my advice on him with a grain of salt.
My absolute favorite YA author is Ned Vizzini -- It's Kind of a Funny Story (the movie was terrible, the book was fantastic), Teen Angst? Naaah... is my favorite, and Be More Chill is great.
I didn't realize Picoult was YA.
The Book Thief is great.
I guess the argument could be made that Picoult is one of those authors who sort of awkwardly transcend age-defined genres, but I've always found her in the YA section in libraries and bookstores.
I was in a book store the other day and the YA section was 3 times the size of the sci-fi section. Not only that, that was sci-fi and fantasy combined. Is it my imagination, or do trends in YA come and go much faster than other genres? It seems like it was vampires, zombies, dystopia, and now every second book is superheroes, all in the space of a couple years. Maybe I'm imagining it, but fantasy was stuck on high-fantasy swords and sorcery Tolkien ripoffs for what seemed like 20 years.
I think YA is just a blossoming industry. I saw trends come and go, but those were only the major, everyone's-reading-it books -- underneath the ones that were advertised, there were dozens of books from every genre coming into my high school library where I worked every day. Plus, YA fiction is a lot more likely to be genre fiction, in my experience.