I've just finished reading 'Defy', a YA fantasy about to come out from Scholastic Press. If you're into YA, for reading or research, then this is one I'd suggest getting hold of. It's a very polished debut novel, not over-complicated but credible and very well written. One can see why the publishers took it on but I'm not going to spoil anything by talking about the plot - if you are interested I'm sure you can look it up for yourselves?
On a side note, I was also interested to see that the YA target audience was described as 12 years and upward. I confess I'd never quite regarded YA as below 13, and it made me think. I wonder if the year younger is because this book is probably targeting girl readers more than boys? I doubt anyone would seriously contest the notion that 12 year old girls are generally 'older' than boys, that's certainly been my experience. But, in fairness, this book has lots of fight scenes, so maybe they're quite right to say that; romance for the girls and fights for the boys?
On which note I'll sign off, since that's a formula that I find depresses me, however effective it might be. But Defy, whatever my ramblings, is a very good YA, and I wish it every success.