Kate wants a list of good YA reads. What a great idea! Here's one list: the nominees for this year's Cybil award in YA. I can't vouch for all of them--I can't even vouch for more than one! I have read, and can recommend The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (in fact, I plan to review it soon). (I will also try to rectify my pitiful lack of knowledge of recent YA by reading at least the finalists, once they are announced...)
So here are other YA titles I've enjoyed over the years. Most are relatively recent, but I included a couple of older titles just for fun--
Good Times/Bad Times, by James Kirkwood. I am always sorry not to hear this mentioned along with A Separate Peace and Catcher in the Rye. It was my favorite boarding school novel when I was in boarding school.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green. And his An Abundance of Katherines. Katherines is funnier, both are fabulous. (Here are all my posts on John Green...)
Feed, by M.T. Anderson, and also his The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume I: The Pox Party. I talked about Anderson here and here.
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. I wrote about Speak here. (I haven't yet read Twisted, which came out this year.)
Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block. Or you could try Dangerous Angels, which is all the Weetzie Bat books in one. I talked a little about Weetzie Bat here.
Monster, by Walter Dean Myers. I need to read more of his books.
The Attolia trilogy by Megan Whalen Turner. Historical fantasy, and gripping. I said a little about them here.
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith (of 101 Dalmations fame!). Older YA, a wonderful read. I wrote about it here.
The Way I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff. Amazing post-apocalyptic story.
Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville. I just loved this subversion of the heroic quest narrative. I said a little about it here...
This list is pretty random--I just skimmed through my old reading lists and pulled the titles that still resonate for me. I may pull a few more in the next few days, but this seems like a pretty good start. Anyone else want to join in and nominate another few great YA novels?