I've been buried in some thick books for about the past week and a half. The first was a stand-alone novel by Sarah Dessen called Lock and Key. According to the author's website:
It's the story of a girl named Ruby who is abandoned by her mother and determined to make it on her own, even---and especially---when she is sent to live with her long-lost sister in a whole new world of privilege, family, and relationships. As Ruby learns, there's a big difference between being given help and being able to accept it. And sometimes, it takes reaching out to someone else to save yourself.
I loved the character progression of this book. Ruby starts out as an outwardly lost cause. She pushes everyone around her away. She casually experiments with drugs and alcohol. Her mom is totally deadbeat and rarely around, and then disappears altogether. Her one source of stability, her big sister, disappeared into college when Ruby was still a child and apparently never tried to contact her again. Ruby's internal walls are totally believable, and their gradual dismantling is so beautiful. I definitely recommend this book.
The other thick books I've been immersed in were the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass)---which, incidentally, according to this, is actually going to have another book added to it in March '11, and has been optioned as a movie by the guys who oversaw the Lord of the Rings production. Wow. I am seriously excited for that one. Hopefully it gets made into a movie someday in the not-too-distant future. Many thanks to our guest reviewer who so highly recommended the series. Ditto to everything she said. Just read her review if you want more info. They were an action-packed, un-put-down-able collection of books. I can't imagine what the fourth book could possibly hold. The series seemed to wrap up quite tidily with the third. Two thumbs up to all my recent reads.